Sheridan junior manages successful show stock businessWritten by Emilee Gibb
Sheridan – “I’m practically running my own business as a 16-year-old. Not many people get to have that,” says Sheridan FFA member Haley Timm.
In addition to showing livestock, serving as the secretary for the Sheridan FFA chapter and exceling in the classroom, the high school junior manages her own club calf operation called Heart J Show Stock.
Growing up, Timm was heavily involved with riding horses and competing in rodeos.
“I rode horses a lot, and I did a lot of the rodeo stuff until the summer before my seventh grade year. I broke my ankle goat tying, and that’s where the horses stopped and the cows came into play,” says Timm.
She says that transitioning into the cattle industry was a natural fit for her as she was already showing sheep, and both her mom and uncle showed steers in 4-H. Showing cattle is certainly different than her rodeoing experience, however.
“It’s definitely a little bit of a different trail. The rodeo was fun, and it was thrilling, but I didn’t make near the money that I make now, which is nice for college,” Timm explains.
“I’ve been raising club calves for four years,” says Timm. “I started with one and then got another one. It grew from there. It was a slow process in the beginning because I could only afford to buy so many females at once”
After her first year of showing cattle, Timm was hooked and wanted to show more. However, that was going to be a challenge with showing sheep, as well, because her county fair had strict regulations on how many animals each competitor could show.
Her mother suggested that she purchase a heifer instead of another steer.
“That next year, I bought my first heifer from a guy in Buffalo, and then it just started from there,” continues Timm.
“I have seven club calf babies on the ground this year, and I’ll have 12 next year,” says Timm.
As her business has flourished, Timm has been able to expand her breeding herd.
“This year will be the biggest pen we’ve had because last year I was able to invest in four heifers, and three of the four had babies this year. I was able to definitely grow my herd more this year,” explains Timm.
Timm has also bred some her family’s commercial cattle to club calves.
Maine-Anjou is Timm’s preferred breed for her club calves.
“I think they’re a little prettier, a little more showier than Angus,” she says
Timm also crossbreeds with Angus and Charolais, noting that it’s important to evaluate each cow before selecting a sire.
“Every cow is different, so I have to learn about their genetics and understand their background,” continues Timm.
Special care needs to be taken with selecting sires for club calves, as many share the same bloodlines.
“With the club calves, there’s a lot of genetic problems that can come along if I start getting too close to getting back to a common sire because a lot of those calves go back to the same dad or grandfather in the end,” notes Timm.
Timm primarily uses artificial insemination (AI) to breed her cows but also uses a high quality Hereford bull from a local rancher as a cleanup bull.
“We breed them and then wait for one heat cycle. If one of them comes back into heat, that’s when we put the bull in. We try to at least catch them twice before we throw him in there,” she explains.
Her involvement in FFA and with owning her own business has helped prepare Timm with important life skills.
“A lot of people will say responsibility, but that’s the main thing. A lot of kids don’t understand why I can’t stay late in town,” says Timm. “They think I can just throw food and water at them and they’re good, but it’s a little bit more in-depth than that.”
Timm credits her business experience with helping her develop greater maturity than many of her peers, noting that it is a very valuable experience.
“Not many people get to have that kind of opportunity,” she says.
“I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian. I mean, that’s what every little kid wants to be at some point. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve definitely veered more toward the human side of things,” Timm says.
She is currently planning beginning her college career in Laramie and then possibly pursuing a degree in radiology at Washington State University. Regardless of her college decisions, Timm plans on staying involved with agriculture.
“In the future I definitely see me continuing with my club calf stuff,” she concludes.