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The Auroran Today

Show Animal Spotlight: Hank & Rodman

Get to know one of MHS’s “Cattle Guys” Hank Elam!

Showing animals is a respectable and hard working activity where students put in an extreme amount of time and effort with their animals to gain their trust and to understand their behaviors. A majority of the time it is students showing their own livestock they raise at their own families farmland. This can create a sense of pride after a good show, knowing that their livestock was home raised. 

A variety of animals can be shown, but one provides an extra challenge, cattle. An average show steer weighs between 1280-1320 lbs. This means that these animals are huge and have a extreme amount of power, so when you go about showing them you have to use patience and make sure the animal is comfortable or else you might suffer an uncomfortable kick.

MHS Freshman Hank Elam, is not scared of a challenging task when showing cattle. In fact, it makes him even more motivated for a good and rewarding season with his own home raised steers. 

“My family and I bought a small farm outside of Muscatine and we raised about 30 pairs of cattle,” said Hank.

Hank has been showing cattle for about 5 years, as he grew up in the agriculture and showing environment. This means he has shown his fair share of different cattle. But one steer that houses a special place in Hank’s heart was his peach colored steer named Rodman after the NBA player Denis Rodman for his hair color. He showed Rodman this past summer.

Hanks peach colored steer Rodman hanging out in his pen.

“I’m not sure if Rodman liked me that much, but I got him to like me,” said Hank.

With cattle naturally being a stubborn animal, it’s no surprise it takes quite a while to gain their trust and get them to like you. But with Hank’s past animal experience, he adapted quite quickly and put in a lot of work with Rodman to get him to his best condition.

“I have a good grip on handling cattle and getting them to cooperate especially under pressure, but it is always hard at some points,” said Hank.

Even with the challenges of showing a stubborn animal, Hank had a successful and rewarding show season. Rodman was 3rd in his class, which was the best performance he had that season.

Hank washing and prepping Rodman before their show at the state fair.


“My greatest memory has to be state fair. It was so fun with all of the people and activities, and Rodman performed very well,” said Hank.

Hank is a perfect example of how far perseverance and confidence can get you. Showing cattle can be extremely hard, and takes a lot of time and patience. But for the last five years Hank has done nothing but put his best effort in, and it payed off with his favorite steer, Rodman.

Tune in next month for more show animal spotlight!- Addie Weggen




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