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.
On 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 a 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!
Katie & Kyle Melton
Story by Alexander Sears,
February 26, 1999
Warren, Ore, -- Kyle Melton doesnt have a masters degree in marketing.
At 11 years old, Kyle hasnt 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 didnt 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. Thats 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 moms 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."
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 didnt know like how pigs are born with straight tails and they turn curly. Weve got this great Printmaster Program for the computer and we do a newsletter about every six weeks. We dont 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 years 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 didnt give away all our secrets."
Kyle and Katie have started working to steer the market to the market steers they will sell at this years Columbia County 4-H Livestock Auction to be held on July 24. Initial weigh-in for the sale will be February 6.
"I dont expect to get $5.20 per pound again this year," Kyle said. "I didnt know the bidding would go so high last year. After $3 per pound I kind of went into shock. I couldnt believe what I was hearing and just started turning Batman around in circles. The announcer had to tell me to leave the ring. I didnt even know when the bidding stopped. I couldnt believe the whole thing was happening."
"With all the marketing Im doing now, $2 per pound would be very nice, but I would be happy with $1.50 per pound."
JR. ACTIVITIES SUCCESSFUL DURING CONGRESS
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:
In the Senior Division of over 13, this was how it went:
1st: Meghan Clark
Congratulations to all junior members who participated! Remember, you are the future!
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
"For fun, I like to read, swim, sing, play my trombone, ride my bike, be with our veterinarian, hike, and drive our tractor."
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.
This page was
last updated June 13, 1999