Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Zenlynn Lee is trying to break the glass ceiling for young girls raising their own cattle. Lee is an eighth-grade student at Mt. Pleasant Middle School. She is involved in 4-H at Mt. Pleasant and many of the programs that it offers to young girls wanting to get into the cattle raising craft.
“Last year I showed horses, rabbits, cows and goats,” said Lee. “I showed at the County Fair and at individual shows around the area. It keeps me quite busy.”
Lee has won numerous awards at the local 4-H level with her cow Magic. That is the heifer she raised from a calf two years ago, and just had its first calf this week. Lee also received a Henry County Cattleman’s Award for this heifer. Now that the cow has had her first calf, she will be able to show it as a cow, calf pair in competitions and local shows.
“I just finished up going to the Iowa Beef Expo in Des Moines,” said Lee. “That’s a really large show with lots of people showing their cattle. I did well, I’m glad that I went.”
It takes a lot of time and patience to get a cow ready for show, and Lee said that she really likes working with the animals and getting them prepped. There are several times where she will show multiple calves in a ring.
“All of this gives me something to work for,” said Lee. “And I like being around the animals.”
Magic is Lee’s first attempt in to the realm of animal husbandry. She was able to match a cow and a bull with the traits that she desired.
“It’s good to see the calves come out of the match that you put together. I like being able to look at what traits I want in a cow or steer,” said Lee. “I love seeing what comes of my choices.”
Lee plans on showing Magic and her calf as a cow, calf combination at the county fair. She has started this year with two new calves, Simone and Dynamite, and looks forward to winning more honors with them.
“I plan on doing FFA,” said Lee. “And staying in the agriculture field once I get to high school. I don’t have an idea as to which field just yet, but I know that it is what I want to do.”
Lee plans for the summer are easier for her to visualize. She wants to take the calves to a couple of Jackpot meets to show. These are local meets that allow for points accumulation and they are separate from the 4-H showings.
“I show with the Iowa Junior Beef Breeders Association,” said Lee. “These are events that allow me to show my calves and work on things before I get to the fair. It all keeps me very busy throughout the summer. It takes a lot of prep work to do these shows. My parents get me to the shows, but I do all the work. That was our agreement when we started doing this.”
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