Never too late to start career in showing cattle

 Joanne Emery of Camp Creek, Alta., trims her Red Angus heifer calf.  |  Mary MacArthur photos

Showing cattle | First time competitor gets help from mom preparing heifers

EDMONTON — Some people buy a fancy sports car or take a cruise to satisfy their midlife crisis. Shelley Grundberg quit her job and started to show cattle.

“I just wanted to have fun. I wanted to enjoy what I’m doing in life,” Grundberg said while washing and scrubbing the two Red Angus heifers she brought to Farmfair International.

“I stepped out of my comfort zone,” said Grundberg, 52, of Camrose.

“Life is too short and you’ve got to love what you do. You have to have courage,” said Grundberg, who spent the last three years as a school trustee for the Battle River School Division and the previous five years as a delegate to Alberta Beef Producers.

While it’s Grundberg’s first time showing beef cattle, she isn’t totally new to the industry. She showed Holstein cattle as a teenager and recently helped her daughter, Stacia, show their family’s red Angus cattle.

Now that Stacia has graduated from high school and is working, Grundberg thought it was time she show the cattle.

“I love the cattle. This is what I am passionate about. Every time you go out you learn something new,” said Grundberg, who halter broke the heifers over the summer.

“It keeps me out of the Bay. Now I shop for Carhartt’s (rural chic clothing).”

Grundberg said that what she doesn’t know about washing, fitting and showing the cattle, she is willing to ask the other competitors.

“I ask everyone one question so they don’t think I’m high maintenance.”

Grundberg also relies on help from her mother, Evelyn McGhan, of Athabasca, Alta. While Grundberg washes the cattle, McGhan wraps up hoses or sweeps in front of the stall.

“I’m the gopher,” said McGhan.

“I will do whatever I can do to help out. It’s always nice to spend time with family and meet new people.”

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