Written By: Landry Kleman, NALJA Director
Hello everyone, it’s Landry Kleman from the Texas Panhandle. I will be attending Kansas State University in the fall, where I am going to major in Animal Science and Industry with a focus on Beef Production and Management. I grew up in a small German Catholic town on my family’s farm. Over the years our farm has seen many changes from my grandpa growing sugar beets and grain to my raising my own cattle.
As I kept thinking of what I was going to write about, the only thing that kept coming to mind was getting out of your comfort zone. Ever since I was old enough to start showing, my family has shown market barrows across Texas. Despite being successful, I always had this desire to raise and show cattle. After several failed attempts of convincing my parents to let me show cattle, I somewhat gave up because Dad always gave the same response, but I never lost that desire to one day raise cattle.
My freshman year of high school, I was sitting in the pig barn at the San Antonio Livestock Show when a man came over the speakers saying that they needed alternates for the Calf Scramble that night at the rodeo. Earlier in the year, I had considered signing up for the scramble but then changed my mind. So, when I heard this, I decided that I was just going to try it. So that night, I competed against 24 other kids for a chance to catch a calf.
By the end of the night, I found myself sitting in the calf scramble room with 12 other kids being awarded our certificates for successfully catching a calf. Each year, the scramble committee awards their winners a certificate to purchase a breeding animal of their choosing and return the next year to show their animal. Immediately, I knew that I was going to buy my first heifer.
Fast forward three years later to the summer before my second time attending NJLSC. I saw a post on the Limousin Facebook page saying that Junior Board applications were open. I glanced over the application and realized that I was old enough to apply. So once again, I decided to just go for it.
Now I’m wrapping up my first year on the board and have loved every second of it. So, if I had any piece of advice to give a junior, it would be to step out of your comfort zone. Join that judging team, be the friend, take the leap. You never know what life is going to throw your way. When you have the chance, take it. It might be the best decision of your life. I hope everyone has a good summer, and I can’t wait to see y’all in Amarillo at the Texas Two Step!
“The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.”
― Benedict Cumberbatch