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Spideranism.gif (1076 bytes) KATIE MELTON

Katie Melton
Columbia County 4-H
Warren, Oregon

My name is Katie Melton.  I am 11 years old and in the 6th grade.  I purchased my first Murray Grey in September, 1998.   It's a steer, his name is Waldo, and he's my 4-H market Project for Fair, 1999.

Katie & Waldo, Grand Champion ShowmanshipOn May 15, 1999, I took Waldo to the Columbia County Youth Fair, and Waldo weighed 923 pounds!  At Youth Fair we got Grand Champion in Showmanship (the only class offered)!

He has grown really fast!  He was really easy to halter break.  I love his temperament.  On February 26, 1999, Waldo and I were on the front page of the Youth Section of the Capital Press!!  My brother and I have been marketing our animals and so they interviewed us.

On June 12, 1999, I am making a trip to Redmond, Oregon, to purchase aKatie, age 11, with steer Waldo, 12 1/2 months, Champion Youth Fair registered Murray Grey heifer that is bred from Twin Fir Farms.   I love Waldo so much that I had to find a registered Murray Grey so I can have my own calves.  Pat from Twin Fir Farms wrote me a letter after she read the Capital Press and told me about the Northwest Murray Grey Association.  We've kept in touch by e-mail and it has worked out great!




Waldo likes to play king of the mountain!  He plays by getting on a large stump and he stretches to make himself look big and strong.  Then Waldo teases the other cows in the pasture.  If he gets tired of standing on the stump, he will lay by it so none of the other cows can steal it.


One day my Dad was using the tractor in the pasture where Waldo lives and he went to the house for a quick minute.   When he came back to the tractor the keys were gone.  He went back into the house because he thought he left them in there.  He searched for a while and came out confused.  He looked around and saw his key chain hanging out of Waldo's mouth!!   He went running after him and Waldo didn't drop them!  He finally did and Dad picked them up and they were slimy and chewed on!


Katie & Kyle Melton
Columbia County 4-H
Warren, Oregon

Story by Alexander Sears,
Capital Press Agriculture Weekly

February 26, 1999

Warren, Ore, -- Kyle Melton doesn’t have a master’s degree in marketing.

At 11 years old, Kyle hasn’t finished the sixth grade. But he knows what it takes to market his product

Last year, he was responsible for marketing his very first market steer, Batman, to the very highest market steer bidder ever in the history of the Columbia County 4-H Livestock Auction. Kyle made more than $5,000 when Boise Cascade Corp. bought his 977 pound steer for a record $5.20 per pound.

Boise Cascade was the final bidder on Batman, but they were not the only bidder.

"I worked really hard to market the whole auction," Kyle said. "I didn’t just ask businesses to come buy my steer. I asked them just to come. There were a lot of new people who came last year. That’s good for the sale."

Both Kyle, and his twin sister, Katie, who auctioned two pigs last year, ask businesses, neighbors and individuals to attend the sale by writing letters, making phone calls and sending out photos of their animals. While 4-H clubs recommend students contact potential bidders for the auction, it is not a mandatory requirement.

"I started by looking in my mom’s checkbook to see who she did business with," Kyle said. "I looked up business names in the yellow pages and started writing letters. We learned how to write letters in school and Mom helped us with the who, what and where questions."

They also made up newsletters. Kyle made up the "MoosLetter" and Katie sent out the "Pig Pen."

Katie Waldo Pig Pen Newsletter.jpg (271636 bytes)

We talk about how we named our animals and how much they are growing in our newsletters," Katie said. "I try to include some interesting facts, stuff they maybe didn’t know like how pigs are born with straight tails and they turn curly. We’ve got this great Printmaster Program for the computer and we do a newsletter about every six weeks. We don’t want to overwhelm anyone, we just want to keep them involved and hopefully interested in the auction and in our animals."

Although marketing is not a class offered at McBride Elementary School, Kyle and Katie taught a marketing class for their Rose Valley 4-H Club and the students who will participate in this year’s livestock auction.

"We put on a class about the letters we wrote and the pictures we sent," Kyle said. "It was weird because most of the kids there were in high school and we were trying to teach them. I kept thinking that they should be teaching us."

Katie said, "We tried to tell them it was important for the kids to write the letters and make the phone calls, not the parents. They asked a lot of questions and we tried to answer them all, but we didn’t give away all our secrets."

Kyle and Katie have started working to steer the market to the market steers they will sell at this year’s Columbia County 4-H Livestock Auction to be held on July 24. Initial weigh-in for the sale will be February 6.

"I don’t expect to get $5.20 per pound again this year," Kyle said. "I didn’t know the bidding would go so high last year. After $3 per pound I kind of went into shock. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and just started turning Batman around in circles. The announcer had to tell me to leave the ring. I didn’t even know when the bidding stopped. I couldn’t believe the whole thing was happening."

"With all the marketing I’m doing now, $2 per pound would be very nice, but I would be happy with $1.50 per pound."




By Meghan Clark

The 1998 International Murray Grey Congress in Billings, MT, was an experience of a lifetime.  As well as meeting many people, seeing the sights of Billings and surrounding cities, going on tours to feedlots and museums, the juniors were taken into consideration and events were planned just for them!  On Wednesday, October 14, at 10:00 a.m., a showmanship and grooming seminar was planned for all juniors.  It was put on by FFA members who were very knowledgeable.  They taught how to fit market animals as well as show animals.   They showed the different kinds of equipment you can use and where you use it.   It was 2 hours of great learning.

On Thursday, October 15, the MurrayGrey Show was held.  Although many Juniors took part in the Sr. show, the most important classes followed the Sr. Show.  These two classes were Jr. Showmanship.  

In the Junior Division of under 12, the placings were as follows:

1st:     Lacey Payne
2nd:    Sierra Payne
3rd:    Brittany Holly

In the Senior Division of over 13, this was how it went:

1st:     Meghan Clark
2nd:    Tracy Gaulter
3rd:    James Clark
4th:    Tyrell Hamilton

Congratulations to all junior members who participated!  Remember, you are the future!




Kenneth Strawn and his Murray Grey steer, KD.Meet Kenneth Strawn of Salem, Oregon, and his 4H steer, KD.

Kenneth is 12 years old and in the 7th grade at Houck Middle School.

A member of  the Aumsville Ranch Hands 4-H Club, Kenneth showed KD at the 1998 Marion County, Oregon, Fair July 8-14, 1998. 

"KD was my first Murray Grey animal.  I found out about Murray Greys on the Internet.  KD was about 8 months old and weighed 606 pounds when I bought him.   He gained rapidly throughout the time I was breaking him.  KD was about 15 months old when I showed him and he tipped the scales at 1155 pounds at the fair."

"KD was the first Murray Grey I've shown.  To halter break him was easy, not as easy as one you worked with from a calf, although he was much more manageable than many other steers."

"I came in Reserve Champion Carcass Steer in my class, took Champion Showman in my class.  I then proceded to the Round Robin, an event in which the top three showman from each livestock species are judged on how they show other showmans' sheep, hogs, llamas, dairy cows, dairy goats, pygmy goats, cashmere goats, and beef.  In this event I placed Reserve Champion."

When Kenneth was asked now that he's worked with a Murray Grey, would he do it again and why, he responded, "In fact, tommorrow I am going to pick up my Murray Grey project steer for this year.  I especially like the Murray Grey's
ability for crossbreeding and rapid gain.  Next year I may go into a steer
and heifer project."

"For fun, I like to read, swim, sing, play my trombone, ride my bike, be with our veterinarian, hike, and drive our tractor."





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We invite you to join the NWMGA by printing and mailing this form, along with your $10.00 payment, to:  THE NORTHWEST MURRAY GREY ASSOCIATION, Marla Hamilton, Youth Chairperson, P. O. Box 506, Park City, MT 59063, Telephone:   1-406-633-2869.

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This page was last updated June 13, 1999 


For further information, contact the
Northwest Murray Grey Association,
29449 Berlin Rd.
Sweet Home, OR 97386

Telephone:  1-541-367-5164 

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