Apr. 3—New Waverly senior Kendyll Williams closed out a successful 10-year career of showing steers at the Walker County Fair on Wednesday, with her fifth Grand Champion title.
"That's been our goal the whole time I've shown, and it was just bittersweet to get it one last time," Williams said.
Over the spans of her career showing at the Walker County Fair, Williams has won five Grand Champion titles, three Reserve Grand Champion titles and one third-overall placement at her very first showing. However, in her 10 years, she's shown at almost every major show in Texas, placing many steers there as well.
"There's lots of yelling and long, hard days, but in the end, it's always worth it," Williams said.
The past three years have been difficult for the 18 year-old, working with steers that had wild temperament, training them and gaining their trust, in addition to the already rigorous work of raising a champion. However, according to Williams, the challenges of the business are what's shaped her into the person she is today, instilling patience, responsibility, time management and an ability to find success in adversity.
"Doing that day-in and day-out really gives you those qualities that maybe some people wouldn't get the opportunity to learn or obtain because they weren't put in these learning situations," Williams said.
Growing up in the cattle industry on her family's ranch where they raise both show steer and cattle, it was natural for Williams to become involved with the fair at a young age, following in her father's footsteps of showing steers.
"I think the family aspect of it makes it all worth it at the end of the day. Seeing all of the hard work and time put into it all year long for that one moment is so worth it," Williams said.
After taking the Grand Champion title, Williams' steer, Tater-Tot, was sold in the premium livestock sale on Thursday for $25,000 to Wischnewsky Dodge, matching the record set by her Grand Champion steer in 2015. Williams will use her winnings to attend Sam Houston State University in the fall to study education.
In the future, she hopes to teach agriculture and share her love of the cattle industry with younger generations, while continuing to work with her family's cattle business.