Champion Angus Shown by Rayli Cunningham, Laverne FFA Named OYE's Supreme Purebred HeiferTue, 13 Mar 2018 10:16:10 CDT
Last year, over 1,200 heifers were exhibited at the Oklahoma Youth Expo. This year, OYE lived up to its reputation as the World’s Largest Junior Livestock Show with a record 1,430 heifers entered into its female show which concluded Monday evening with the selection of three Supremes. Earning the top prize as Supreme Purebred Heifer was the Champion Angus shown by Rayli Cunningham of Laverne FFA. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Rayli ringside for an interview after her big win.
Rayli talked about her heifer which she exhibited at OYE the year before and placed third overall Angus. She explains how lucky she was to even get to compete last year as her and her family’s life was being turned upside down along with many others in northwest Oklahoma where wildfires were blazing across Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. Just a few days before the show last year, Rayli and her family were working to save what they could.
“We got out of school at noon that day and my dad said, ‘you need to come home and start moving cattle,’” she recounted. “We lost 6,000 acres of land that day and my show heifer was actually in the midst of it all. It was like three days before OYE last year. I was blessed with some amazing friends who took her in for me for a couple of days because I did not have the time to rinse my heifer like she needed to be rinsed because we had other priorities.”
Rayli says that trying time and wildfires changed her life. At last year’s show, OYE started a relief fund for juniors affected by the fires and Senator Eddie Fields’ family donated a calf to be auctioned off during the Sale of Champions to raise additional funds. Rayli was one of the recipients of those funds.
“I really appreciate all the people that donated and the girl that auctioned off her steer at the premium sale,” she said, “that really touched my heart.”
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