To most people, receiving an award would mean a trophy or prize money, but a local teenager won something completely different a farm animal.
Tyler Doyle, a 15-year-old from Easton, won a heifer calf in the recent Minnesota Youth Beef Experience Program (MYBEP) on Oct. 18-21.
A portion of that program is to award 10 heifer calves to FFA ?and 4-H members in Minnesota between 12-16 years old. There were 65 applicants this year and Doyle was selected.
"Some people want to be the quarterback of their team, I want to be the quarterback of my herd," he says.
In fact, it is one of his goals to continue working with beef cattle throughout his life and this program was a perfect opportunity to get him started.
So, to say Doyle was excited to win was an understatement.
The 10 recipients of heifers are required to raise and breed their calf, while keeping detailed records of the process.
Doyle received the heifer donated by the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association.
"I got to pick out which heifer I wanted from the auction,"?he adds.
He was the only recipient that was able to choose his own calf from the auction.
So, faced with a decision, Doyle enlisted the help of his neighbor and mentor, Dusty Martin, to select the best looking cow.
Doyle has shown Martin's calves at the county fair for the past couple of years.
"He knew what to look for so he was able to help me decide,"?he adds.
Doyle selected a young calf, born March 10, named her Lucky Lady and brought her home that night.
"I've been out here every night after school taking care of her,"?he says.
He will have to take care of her for a whole year and will be judged at the end of the year. If he has done a good job raising the heifer it is his to keep.
Doyle also received several items from the program that will aid him in raising Lucky Lady. Those include; a cattle clipper, 250 pounds of feed and a show halter.
Part of the requirements of this program is for the participants to show their heifer calves.
"I've been learning how to set her up for the judges and make sure she is washed and combed,"?Doyle adds.
At the end of the year of caring for the heifer, he will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
"This is a great program, he's not only learning how to handle his heifer,"?Kerry Doyle, Tyler's father says,?"he's also learning responsibility and time and money management."
Doyle has been in 4-H for eight years and has been showing cattle for two years.
"I wanted to have my own calf to work with,"?he says.
He applied for the program two years in a row and was chosen in only his second time applying.
MYBEP?has been giving calves to applicants since 2000 and has given away a total of 74 heifers.
"I am so happy,"?Doyle says. "This is a great opportunity and a great experience."
MYBEP's goal is to give youth the opportunity to fulfill their goals of becoming involved with the beef industry.