Show pigs, steers, and dairy cattle. That’s my life. Four generations of dairy farmers is something you can build a life on. My name is Karla Willcome and along with my older brother, I am the fourth generation of my family’s dairy farm located in the small town of Marne, Michigan. Our farm is on the small-scale of 200 milking cows and a steady amount of heifers. I feed the many calves that are born on my family’s farm. With taking care of the calves I am able to have my own projects through 4-H. I have been in 4-H for 7 years. Starting off my 4-H career at the age of 9 with dairy feeder calves, market hogs, and dairy cattle. Of course my dairy career began long before then with “peewee” shows and the open class at my local fair. At the age of 12 I was able to show what we call “big steers” around here, are your market steers. We can choose from either colored beef or dairy beef. I thought starting off with dairy beef would be the smartest decision at the time, until I discovered my undeniable passion towards the beef breeds. The following year my dad allowed me to buy and raise a Charolais steer and since then I have begun working myself up towards higher class cattle. 4-H has brought my passion of animals to the plate and is constantly striving me to improve for the next year, whether that be my stock or showmanship.
Although 4-H is a big part of my life, it happens to be
not the only organization that has shaped me into the
person I am today. FFA has done much of that since
the 6th grade. In my spare time when I’m not working
on my family’s farm or with my 4-H projects, I am with
my FFA family. I belong to the Coopersville FFA
chapter where I compete in parliamentary procedure.
In past years I have competed in junior high
greenhand conduct of meetings, livestock judging,
dairy foods, and ag issues. I have served as our
middle school’s chapter president and treasurer
and my sophomore year of high school as our chapter’s
Even though I am only a junior, once out of high school I hope to attend Michigan State University to pursue a career path through either dairy cattle herd management and/or beef cattle production as well.
Thank you so much for this opportunity to be a representative from Michigan on the Raised in a Barn team. I cannot wait to see what lies a head. Feel free to follow me on Instagram and Twitter: @karla_willcome.
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