Sterling Scott said that he was destined to show livestock long before he was even born. Both Sterling's mom and dad are county extension agents, and work daily helping kids get involved in agriculture. So Sterling felt it was only right that he follow in their footsteps.
"My mom and dad were county extension agents, so when I was born I was basically just born into the business," Sterling said. "I started showing at eight years old, and I started showing just little bitty goats. Now I've expanded more, and I show fine wools, south downs, and some hair sheep, and just bigger goats."
And Sterling is having an exceptional year with his livestock. The showing season started in the summer with local jackpots and county shows, and will finish up for Sterling this week at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
"This goat we took to the lone star elite in San Angelo where he placed reserve heavy, and he was behind the grand champion goat. We got this goat from No Step Ranch in Sterling City. And this particular goat, he's very pretty from the side. He has a huge top shape in him and he's heavy muscled," Sterling said. "I will take this goat to Houston and hopefully bring back a banner."
Sheep take some extra preparation before entering the show ring because of their wool. But Sterling said that the judge is looking for a lot of the same qualities in both, heavy muscling and a strong profile.
"This fine wool placed first at South Plains Fair where he won his lightweight class," Sterling said. "Then he went into the breed and got reserve breed, and we also took this lamb to county where he got reserve breed there also. We'll shear these animals a couple of days before the show just to get them ready. And then before we go into the show, we'll spray them with conditioner and smooth out their skin so they're nice and soft before we show them."
Wendy Scott said that she's seen her oldest son gain understanding over the years and take on more and more responsibility with his animals. Plus he's learning how to make decisions both earning and spending money for himself.
"From a financial standpoint, I won't say there's just tons of rewards. If people did it to get rich, then they're doing it for the wrong reason because that's not why we're doing it and most people don't get rich from it," Wendy said. "But Sterling is understanding what it's like to take out a loan and have to pay off that loan every year. Some of that money does go back to him. It's almost like his job that he does, so he knows that he's going to get paid a return. And the harder he works, hopefully that hard work pays off in the show ring and he's going to get that monetary reward, too. So he's understanding some financial things that kids outside the show ring may not understand."
And Sterling's hard work did pay off this year in a big way. He earned a substantial scholarship at a major Texas stock show.
"The best I've ever done at a major show was when I was reserve breed at San Antonio and won a $10,000 scholarship," Sterling said. "With this money, we'll put it in the fund for next year for animals, and we'll put it towards my college just to help me get through that."
Sterling has even used some of his earnings to purchase his very own stock trailer to haul his livestock to more and more shows. Congratulations again to this week's Ag Student of the Week, Sterling Scott. If you would like to nominate a deserving young person to be featured on our show, please email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org .