- Associated Press - Saturday, July 2, 2016

SEARCY, Ark. (AP) - Jalyn Smith may only be 10 years old but she already is running a small farm.

Jalyn, who will be in fifth grade in the Rose Bud School District in the fall, is a farmhand on her family’s farm and also leases 80 acres, where she has 20 cows.

Her mother Nesha hopes the experience will teach her daughter responsibility.

“She has her own account,” Nesha said. “She sells her weanlings — her calves once they are weaned — she sells them and then that goes into her account and then out of her account, she gets to buy back cows.

“We don’t make her pay for everything but we do make her pay for her lease. Chris and I do all the meds and stuff like that but we make her buy the liquid feed tubs. She’ll pay for those but as far as the hay goes and the cubes and stuff like that, we don’t make her pay for that. But that is part of why it is important that she is helping us in the hayfield because Mom and Dad are helping her.”

The Daily Citizen (http://bit.ly/297WC29) reports that Jalyn uses the money she makes from cattle sales to purchase more cows and supplies for her farm.

While Jalyn is in control of her farm, her parents still offer her advice and help.

“Jalyn has a Brahma bull and we are trying to get her to switch and go all registered Braunvieh,” Nesha said. “We don’t register our cows. Our bulls are registered but our cows are not and our babies, we are not registering them.

“It’s just a commercial operation but we are trying to get Jalyn to do registered because she can make some serious money. We went to a sale in Springfield (Mo.) and there was a pair that brought like $4,400 or $5,400. It was a pair that Jalyn had picked out and she was wanting to buy but she is not spending that much money. We are pushing and she says she’s going to just do it gradually but we can take her calves and market them in Missouri to just that Braunvieh sale and she could do good.”

Nesha said Jalyn has used a Braunvieh bull, too, “but she still has that Brahma bull right now so she still is using him.”

Jalyn has been involved in 4-H since kindergarten.

“You are able to join 4-H when you are 5,” Nesha said. “Jalyn has been with cows since she was born. I have a picture of Chris putting her on a baby calf when she was not even 1 yet. She’s not a sports girl at Rose Bud, either.”

Jalyn has competed at the White County Fair since she was 2 years old and has won several awards at the fair. She has won Reserved Grand Champion on replacement heifer show and fifth place breeding heifer.

“She made fourth last year with her steer,” Nesha said. “We were very proud to say our steer came from the local sale barn. Jalyn does a lot on her own, like she could really be improved if she had someone coaching, but Chris and I aren’t showers so she does her own thing and learns as she goes.”

She is also active in the Braunvieh Association’s national shows — the Braunvieh Junior Nationals.

She has won fourth place in cow costume.

“She dressed it up as a hamburger,” Nesha said. “She was dressed up as a dinner girl and then her heifer had the hamburger hat on. It was cute.”

She has placed in showmanship and won Rookie of the Year last year and a herdsman award.

“To me as a mom, herdsman means a lot because herdsman shows that you are a hard worker — that you are keeping your areas clean and so she might not go win the class of her breeding class, but if she wins herdsman I’m like ‘good job,’” Nesha said.

When Jalyn is not showing cattle or helping on her parent’s farm, she spends a lot of time working with her calves.

“She has not had much of a break for her summer break,” Nesha said. “She spent a lot of time working cows and she goes out with the vet and helps. That’s all good until she goes to school and educated those kids that don’t have a clue. She explains to them what a steer is and I’m like, ‘Jalyn, you probably need to let their mother tell them that.’”

Nesha is amazed with her daughter’s memory and ability to keep up with her cows and her parent’s cows.

“We were driving through here one day and she starts talking about this cow and she talks about the age and where she bought it from and I look at her like she is crazy and then we look at the cow records and she was right,” Nesha said. “I have on there where we buy them from, what we paid for them but she can remember that stuff and I don’t know how she does it.”

Nesha understands there are risks involved in allowing Jalyn to farm her own herd but she wants to let her daughter follow her passions.

“I know that I can’t keep her in a bubble and I know there is a risk to her,” Nesha said. “If she played a sport, there is a risk. There’s a risk when we drive to Searcy. I know that and I just pray and I let it be because that is her passion, these cows — and hope for the best.”

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Information from: The Daily Citizen, http://www.thedailycitizen.com/

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