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Throughout 2015, we're following the Tusha family, who make showing cattle a family project - a Living the Country Life special!

People who live in the country are able to take part in activities that only others like them can experience. Many families raise livestock, and through 4-H and FFA the kids learn how to care for their animals and train them for the show ring.

Grace Tusha of Garner, Iowa has been raising and showing cattle for 10-years. She’s a senior in high school, and the youngest of three girls in the family. Her older sisters also showed cattle. Together with their parents Tim and Ellen, it’s been a whole-family project for years.

Grace has two steers that she’ll be working with this year. Their names are “Smalls” and “Big Boy”. She says these first few months with them will be the most challenging.

"You have to break them in, they have to get to know you, they have to trust you," says Grace. "You have to wake up really early, get them all fed, you have to make friends with them and everything."

Grace’s father, Tim, selects the animals they raise for the show ring each year. However, he admits he’s not a professional who can immediately spot a high-quality calf.

"I like certain aspects, but then I’ll miss the flaws," says Tim. "So I really rely, or we rely, on some good friends we’ve met in the industry. We’ve built trust with certain people in the industry, and we just really rely on them to assist us in selecting those animals each year."

Tim says the show industry is getting more competitive every year, especially in the regional and national arenas. On a local level, it appears to be declining and Tim says the million-dollar question is how to keep our youth interested and involved in the cattle industry.

Join us as we follow Grace and her family’s journey into the show ring this year, and also the valuable life lessons it teaches young people in the process.

Hear more from Grace and Tim through a special video

Listen here to the radio mp3

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