My first trip to the historic “Cow Town” was definitely a memorable one. Summit offered so many great opportunities to grow your industry knowledge, experience the Stockyards and see breeders’ operations. For me, getting to know people and making connections always ends up being my favorite part. I loved getting to meet kids my age across the different breeds, along with learning about their breeds by attending the ranch tours. I am not much of a history geek, but I found the Stockyard history very interesting to learn with the impact Fort Worth had on the cattle industry. This is a great opportunity that I believe every junior should take advantage of.
I was excited to attend Summit this year because it was held in the historic Stockyards of Fort Worth, Texas. The Stockyards has such a fun atmosphere, and there is so much western expansion history in the area that it makes for an interesting visit. My favorite part of Summit was being able to interact with the juniors on a more personal level compared to junior nationals. In Madison, I mostly dealt with the junior members on paper and didn’t have many opportunities to get to know them. However, at Summit I was in charge of icebreakers and group activities. This gave me more of a chance to interact with members from across the three different associations. My family raises Red Angus cattle, so it was interesting for me to tour ranches from three different breeds that I am not as familiar with. Overall, Summit was a blast and felt more like a vacation than a weekend of work!
For me, one of the highlights of our trip to Fort Worth was the quick tour we had of the Stockyards. I grew up in Texas and have been to the Stockyards numerous times, but I still found it interesting to learn about the role that Fort Worth played in shaping the cattle industry and learned a lot of facts I didn’t previously know. A fact I learned was that cattle were only worth four dollars in San Antonio area and worth $40 in Kansas City — it definitely makes sense why everyone was moving cattle up the Chisholm Trail! Also, Bonnie and Clyde stayed at the Stockyards Hotel, so it was pretty cool to be in a building they once were in.