Show cattle in ranching country: Matt Jameson strives to provide quality show projects to producers across the region
Lusk – Matt Jameson was first introduced to showing when he was a small child and grew up showing in local shows and 4-H shows.
Located south of Lusk, his focus today is on raising quality beef projects for exhibitors across the Midwest with his wife Kellie, five-year-old son Jhett and two-year-old daughter Landree.
Show cattle inspiration
Matt started his own cattle business full time in 2001. In 2015, Matt started working for Asche Show Cattle and Frye Ranch helping raise show cattle. When the Fryes decided to sell out, Matt and Greg Asche decided to run their cattle together for another four years, he explains.
“Greg decided to retire this year and with the drought, we decided to cut our numbers down,” says Matt. “Today, we have about 33 bred cows.”
Matt has scaled down recently due to feed prices, but is looking to rebuild the herd down the road. Going forward, Matt plans to continue with embryo transplants and artificial insemination to produce the best show prospects possible.
Show cattle connections
Throughout the country, Matt has developed close friendships with show cattle producers, exhibitors, cattle traders and businesses.
“We work with a variety of producers and exhibitors form across the country,” Matt shares. “Right now, we’re trying to put up a house, so we have been super busy with that project.”
When Matt is not busy working with cattle and raising his family, he spends his free time as a grounds keeper at the Niobrara County Fairgrounds.
Several years ago, Matt produced the Champion AOB at Ohio State Fair in 2015 and the Fourth Overall Prospect Steer at the National Western Stock Show in 2016.
There will be bigger accomplishments as the family hits the show road, but for now, one of Matt’s greatest accomplishments is providing the best cattle possible.
“Having some great cows of my own and raising quality projects is my greatest accomplishment,” Matt says. “It’s great having success in the show pen, but being able to raise a great cow instead of having to go out and buy her, is what I’m most proud of.”
Depending on the year, a majority of prospects go to families throughout Wyoming, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado and California to name a few.
Club calf sales
Previously, Matt sold prospects in an online sale. Most recently, he has had success selling calves through private treaty sales.
“If someone wants to come in the spring and buy, we welcome interested parties to come out and take a look,” he notes. “During COVID-19, the market was a bit unpredictable and we weren’t sure what was going to happen. So, it was best for me to sell when the buyer was ready.”
Matt works with local youth exhibitors, he adds, noting he enjoys watching youth succeed in the show ring.
Matt explains, “As we get more involved in the years to come, I’ll get a little bit more aggressive and take some to a few sales and keep a few back for my son to show in Billings and at Black Hills.”
“We just have to wait and see what we have for a crop first,” says Matt. “As long as we don’t have too many heifers, we’ll be alright.”
Judging show projects
Matt Jameson Show Cattle has had a variety of success throughout the industry, but has a type of cattle he prefers to raise.
“Every judge is going to like something different,” Matt explains. “I know what kind of cattle I like.”
Matt prefers having big, productive cows who can easily calve on their own, and he tries to not keep cows around that don’t work in his program.
“I try to have the best genetics that I can,” he says. “I don’t try to be big to just be big, sometimes less is more – I just want to raise the best kind instead of just having the most cattle.”
It’s the little things
Focusing on genetics and raising prospects, as well as cow care in general is what Matt really loves the most about being in the cow business. Matt shares he has had great success with VitaFerm and MultiMin minerals in his feeding program.
“To me in the cattle industry, you have to do all of the small things right – you have to outwork your competition at home,” says Matt. “Working hard at home and putting in the extra elbow grease into caring for the cattle – washing, blow drying and general care – is how you win shows.”
Showing cattle takes more than buying an expensive project and thinking the animal has the potential to take the owner to the winner’s circle, Matt concludes, noting, “If you don’t do the little things right, you won’t see the same success.”
Brittany Gunn is the editor at the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.