Friend of the cattlemen
BERRYVILLE -- Junior Miss Carroll County, Kylee Sigmon, is also Arkansas' Junior Beef Ambassador, and this 14-year-old Berryville Bobcat is busily preparing for a summer of Simmental competitions and will be representing her state in the National Beef Ambassador contest in Sacramento in October.
Busy appears to be something Kylee is used to. The daughter of Mike and Lisa Sigmon has been a part of her family's cattle operation in some form or another her whole life, and she seems to have been paying attention as mom and dad showed her the ropes. The young Miss Sigmon has a wealth of knowledge of beef and the beef industry.
"Growing up in the business, I didn't realize until just recently how much was unknown about it by people who don't live it every day." said Sigmon. "As a beef ambassador, I get to share so many things I have learned to clear up the misconceptions out there."
"There is so much talk about eating healthy, and beef gets left out of the conversation so often." she continued. "Most people don't realize there are 29 lean cuts of beef that have a fat content level that falls in the range between skinless chicken breasts and skinless chicken thighs, and that as versatile as it is, there are countless recipes out there for families to enjoy without guilt"
Kylee added, "People may not realize that when you raise and care for an animal you get attached, and although there are always going to be cases where someone does bad things, most of the people I know care about their cattle like family.
Kylee has been to the Simmental Junior Nationals competition for three years now, where she has been up against the best in America to showcase her beef industry and Simmental knowledge, beef judging abilities, knowledge of feeds and diseases, as well as showmanship and public speaking abilities.
In her first year, she took the top spot in the first time competitor division, then has taken second place nationally the past two years with a tie-breaker loss in year two and a one point loss in year three. Kylee is determined to take the top prize this year with regionals coming up in June and her fourth crack at the nationals coming in Lima, Ohio in July.
In April, Kylee visited area second graders and read to them from a book called, Levi's Lost Calf, a book about a young cowboy who comes up one short at head count and heads out on his horse with his dog to find Little Red.
The book was written by South Dakota cattle-woman, Amanda Radke, who in her early twenties has a growing cattle operation of her own and served as the National Beef Ambassador in 2006. Kylee is gearing up to compete for that title in October.
Kylee says that she owes so much to her parents, Mike and Lisa. "They have taught me so much, and have always been very involved in my activities. I have seen so many new places and have traveled so much."
"Last year I had six cows of my own and my dad put everything aside to go with me to 22 different shows all over the region." said Kylee. "I ended up winning the Jason Bertschy Memorial Showmanship award. I couldn't have done it without him."
Mom Lisa said, "We have been so lucky, Lisa and her brother Logan study so hard for these competitions and events. Kylee is organized, a self-starter, and a hard worker. She is a great young lady. She is so mature, it is hard to remember she is only 14 at times."
Kylee said she hasn't made up her mind yet on a college or her plans for the future, "Three years until graduation seems like a long time," she said. "but it will be here before I know it, and I am thinking about it a lot."