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Foss hopes to have fun, win buckles with 4-H projects

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Buffalo – For 11-year-old Buffalo 4-H member James Foss, “My goals are to have fun – and maybe I’ll even win a couple belt buckles at fair.” 

Foss, the son of Jenna and Jay Foss, will take a supreme heifer, supreme pair, market steer and several horses to the Johnson County Fair this year at the end of July. 

The Supreme Cow program in Johnson County provides the opportunity for youth to take production cattle to show at the county fair.

  The show is judged by ranchers based on production characteristics, and Foss says, “I pick the best of the best of my heifers out of my herd to take to the Supreme Cow Contest.” 

“As long as they’re bred, they can be showed in the contest,” he says, noting that the following year, if they’re bred again, they come back as a cow/calf pair. “I started showing in this contest because I liked my heifers and I wanted to show them.”

Foss’ cattle run with his family’s herd throughout the year, and he says, “My heifers don’t get anything but salt, a vaccination and a little hay in the winter.” 

He explains, “We don’t artificially inseminate (AI) our heifers in the first year, so we breed them to bulls. When we come back the next year, we AI our cattle. I’m taking my heifer and her calf back this year in the Supreme Cow Contest.” 

Foss’ connection to the contest extends back to his grandfather, who helped start the program many years ago. 

He says, “It’s a pretty neat program.” 

In addition to his heifers, Foss also shows a steer, which is kept all winter to be fattened to 1,000 pounds. 

“We halter break and get our steers ready for fair starting after calving is done,” Foss explains. “It’s fun to show cattle, and it gives me something to do all summer – and really all year.”

While he keeps busy showing cattle, Foss also shows halter and performance horses. 

He says, “We have to own the cattle, but I don’t have to own a horse to show it. The horses give me something to do in the night time.” 

“I don’t have to have ownership of the horse, but I do have to pass a safety test to show,” he says. “I also like that our 4-H leaders put on roping events.”

He comments, “It’s a pretty neat program that our leaders put on for 4-H kids.” 

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article or leads for other 4-H youth to feature to

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