GUNNISON, Colo. – Hadyn Perkins is a very busy young lady, and she’s about to be busier.
As a member of the Future Fitters 4H Club, she will be actively involved in Cattlemen’s Days, which runs through Saturday, July 16, at the Fred Field Western Center in Gunnison. It’s a hectic time for many families in the Gunnison Valley, but it’s also a perfect time to enjoy all that their lives have to offer.
“For me, showing livestock is about the experience, the family time that is involved with it and the learning,” said Hadyn, 16, who lives in Gunnison with her father. “My dad owns his own business; my mom passed away, so it’s just my dad. He showed when he was younger.”
Those times together make it all special for the teenager. She loves what she does and all the experiences that come with it. Oftentimes, they travel to eastern Colorado for more family time and a chance to showcase what she’s learned over the years and what she wants to do.
“The Western Slope doesn’t have really big jackpots, and my uncle is the ag teacher in Lamar (Colorado),” she said. “On weekends, we go there and spend time with him, then we travel all over and go to the shows.”
She has gone to five shows over the last year, two in Tribune, Kansas, and one each in Elkhart, Kansas; Garden City, Kansas; and Monte Vista, Colorado. She placed in the top five of showmanship at each.
She’s done pretty well close to home, too. At Cattlemen’s Days, she has won the goat show each of the past five years, lambs for the last three years and the pig show once. She’s won showmanship with all animals for the past several years.
What does she like most?
“Probably pigs,” Hadyn said. “My uncle breeds and sells show pigs, so it’s what we’ve learned to enjoy. I think it’s also where most of my family bonding time happens.”
Once the showing begins at Cattlemen’s Days, though, she’ll turn her attention to whatever need is pressing with her schedule. She will be showing swine, lambs, goats and a steer. She’s also going to show why family means so much to her through her genealogy exhibit.
“I’m looking forward to mostly just getting together with my friends during Cattlemen’s Days, and for the show,” she said.
Hadyn is homeschooled and involved. She knows the priorities in her life, and she presents them in a way befitting a grand champion.