The Best Summer Of My Youth

Edgar's picture


I’ve had a lifelong love affair with Angus cattle despite an inauspicious beginning to my cattle career. Near the end of my freshman year in high school I got a $350 loan from a kind-hearted banker and bought the meanest Angus steer that ever lived. He was also a chronic bloater. My ag teacher picked him out for me and that’s the last time I ever let anyone buy cattle for me.

I named my steer Abe, built a nice pen and kept it spotless. I had to feed Abe every morning by six because that’s when he wanted his breakfast and if I was one minute late he’d ball and wake up my lazy neighbors. I invested $300 total in Abe and spent over 350 hours cleaning his pen, feeding, grooming and trying to gentle him. Despite his angry nature I loved that steer and cried when they hauled him away. Interestingly, the only time I ever won showmanship at any fair was with crazy Abe! In the final analysis I lost $13.50, thus establishing the pattern for the rest of my checkered cattleman career.

Despite the heavy financial loss I couldn’t wait until my Sophomore year to do it all over again. I’d learned a thing or two the first time, so I wasn’t going to let my teacher pick a steer for me at the auction barn. I did my research, contacted Mr. Dow of the Superior Angus Ranch and immediately fell in love with an Angus steer I named Abner. He looked just like the poster of the ideal Angus steer the Angus Association sent me. Abner was the Grand Champion county fair steer and overnight I became the richest kid in my class.

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