Several Norwood families were in Pueblo for the Colorado State Fair last week. Reese Elwood, accompanied by her family, showed Dolly, a Charolais heifer in state classes. Elwood took a first place and then a third-place overall in her state classes. 

Peyton Porter, with a small entourage of supporters, followed through on her grant commitment by showing Blakely, the Maine Anjou heifer she purchased with grant money. Porter took seventh place in her heifer class. 

Porter’s animal was purchased in March of this year when she received the state FFA Heifer Wrangle grant for $1,500, after spending last fall in the application process. She purchased the heifer locally from Keith and Sue Williams. 

As part of the grant requirements, Porter showed Blakely at the San Miguel Basin Fair this year and was reserve champion in her class. Also part of the agreement, she showed the state fair the last weekend of August. 

Porter said she’d wanted to go to Pueblo, and it ended up being “really fun.” 

She was transported by grandfather Cody Young and grandmother Kelly Romaine. 

“I was not necessarily expecting to win anything,” Porter said. “I wanted to make the best of whatever happened.”

And apparently she did. Blakely was rather ill-behaved during her heifer class. Porter told The Norwood Post that the animal had been solo after the fair in Norwood when the steers were all sold. 

“She’s been alone,” Porter said. “She got penned with another heifer for state, Reese’s, and she got emotionally attached to Dolly. We tried to pull her away, but she got super mad to be alone again. I couldn’t get her to separate. She was not the most behaved. The judge said if she would have behaved better, she probably would have placed better.”

Porter said regardless, she loves the heifer anyway. 

The freshmen in high school had never to been to a livestock show that big. She said she was amazed at how many classes were being held at once, and how organized it all was. 

She was honored the Keith and Sue Williams traveled to the Front Range to watch her show. She was also grateful her FFA and science teacher, Ms. Kolbet, made the trip. 

“I thank Ms. Kolbet for helping me to get the grant and always being there the whole time,” she said. “She helped a lot with the record book and scrap book. She is really involved. She went all the way.”

Porter said she also thanked her sponsor who made the grant, Kenny Burns, and Aaron Elwood for helping her artificially inseminate the heifer in June and supporting her at the state fair. 

“And obviously my grandparents for supporting me through the whole process,” she said. 

Blakely is set to calve in March. She was bred to WWSC Slider, an Angus bull known for throwing small babies — good for a heifer like hers, Porter said. 

Since the FFA grant requires two years of work, Porter must document the next year too. Her plan is to show Blakely again in a cow-calf class. She hopes she ends up with a steer next spring. In this way, Porter would show the steer at the San Miguel Basin Fair the following year, in 2023.

“I may take the cow-calf pair to state too,” she said.