National Western Stock Show, Lauren Schiermiester excels as Wyoming’s sole 2011 intern
Denver, Colo. – University of Wyoming junior Lauren Schiermiester is the sole Wyoming intern working at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) this January.
“My family has shown Hereford and prospect cattle here for the past five years, and I’ve always enjoyed the show at the NWSS. I heard about the NWSS scholarship available through UW, and have received that the past two years. I was finally eligible for an internship this year, and am very excited about the opportunity,” says Schiermiester of the three-week internship available to college students.
Schiermiester went through an application process at UW that included submitting an application and being interviewed by a panel including multiple department heads and the Associate Dean of the college. She joins students from across the country to help run the region’s largest livestock show.
“This year they’ve made some changes to the intern program, and we aren’t just in the yards or just on the hill. I’ve had the opportunity to work in the yards checking cattle in, I’ve clerked shows from a variety of breeds and species, and I’ve also been responsible for recording show results. I like having the opportunity to expand my knowledge in industries I’m not as familiar with,” explains Schiermiester.
She lists the sheep and hog industries as two she is learning a lot about. “I would like to see myself working the beef industry after college, but it’s also very beneficial to learn about other industries within agriculture, and I’ve had fun at all of the events I’ve worked at.”
She started work a week prior to the NWSS kicking off, and was involved in preparing exhibitor packets and making sure all the shows were ready to go.
“My favorite part so far has been working with the people exhibiting at the NWSS. I’ve enjoyed helping them check in and get their cattle settled. There are a lot of unforeseen issues that come up as people show up and check in. Sometimes entries aren’t correct, or the headcounts are off, and you have to be able to work through those situations, but it’s been fun meeting all the people,” she says.
Schiermiester adds that she didn’t realize how much effort went into making sure everyone involved in the show was on the same page, and that entries were entered correctly and the results recorded accurately.
“We’re constantly using technology, and that’s another challenge. We have to make sure it’s always working, and working correctly,” she notes.
Schiermiester will also have the opportunity to help her family show their cattle again this year at the NWSS.
“Our herd just naturally evolved from showing in 4-H and FFA. I showed steers through those programs, and also showed junior breeding heifers around the region and at Junior Nationals. This will be my last year of eligibility at Junior Nationals, and I plan to return to that show one last time” explains Schiermiester.
“I’ve also taken those original show heifers and started developing my own herd. My family is now showing cattle in open shows at multiple stock shows and regional events. We’ve also utilized a lot embryo transfer and AI in our program, and are taking a progressive approach to raising Hereford and club show cattle,” she says.
Schiermiester adds that her family markets all their cattle through private treaty sales and consignment sales held in conjunction with shows. “A big aspect of these shows is marketing your cattle,” she notes.
“I had one Hereford heifer in high school, and won Fort Worth with her. She also won her division here at the NWSS, and won the Western Nugget show in Reno, Nev. It’s always nice to show up and do really well, and see all your hard work pay off,” says Schiermiester of what she enjoys about showing.
“This summer I started showing that heifer’s progeny, and they’ve done very well, winning several regional shows. It’s so rewarding to see improvements you’ve made in your program start to show,” adds Schiermiester.
“I’m very interested in working in the field of agriculture, and right now through this internship I’m learning about several different aspects of the industry. I think it’s a very worthwhile internship, and the benefits go beyond the work you do to the people you meet. I’ve been able to meet, and work with, people from all the breed associations, the sponsors, and individuals from all areas of the industry. It’s great to have exposure to those individuals, especially when you’re planning for future endeavors after college,” explains Schiermiester.
In addition to her involvement with the NWSS, Schiermiester is also a founding member of the UW Collegiate CattleWomen club, where she is currently the chapter treasurer. “I’m also the Wyoming Junior Hereford Association President and UW College of Ag ambassador,” says of her activities outside the classroom. Within the classroom she is working toward a degree in animal science with an emphasis in ag business.
Heather Hamilton is editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org