Kaden Malm enjoys working with cattle at Goshen County Fair
TORRINGTON, Wyo. — Kaden Malm, 18, of LaGrange, Wyoming, has been showing cattle for 10 years.
Malm‘s experience in livestock judging helps him spot a good animal, although picking a winner still depends on the individual judge at each contest.
“The main focus in market animals comes down to muscle, because that’s the meat they’re going to be able to produce when they go to slaughter. And then the amount of finish, which is the fat cover they have over the muscle,” he said.
He works with his cattle every day, preparing them to look their best on the day of each show and ensuring they maintain the proper health.
“Exercise is a big thing,” he said. “Cattle, once they eat and drink for the day, they’ll find a shady spot and lay down. Exercise is a big thing, to keep their joints fresh and keep some muscle tone in.”
He also trains with them constantly to ensure they follow his lead in the ring during a show.
“Once you get them halter-broke and they know that you’re in charge, it gets easier from there,” he said.
But, he added, not everything can be prepared for. Sometimes, cattle will get sick. Sometimes, you can prepare a cow for show in every way you can think of but it won’t match what the judge wants.
“You always think you can control everything about them, but you really can’t,” he said.
Malm plans to major in animal science in college.
“I really enjoy working with cattle,” he said. “I hope to have a career someway tied to the beef industry.”
Malm is a member of 4-H and FFA, saying that both organizations opened doors for him.
“4-H really opened up a lot of opportunities for me,” he said. “I had the opportunity to judge on the Goshen County livestock judging team at the state contest last year and we ended up winning that.”
The team won fifth at the national contest in Louisville last November, and Malm earned a spot on the All-American team.
“That opened up a lot of doors and got me some college scholarships to go judge at the collegiate level. Without 4-H, I wouldn’t have had the exposure and I wouldn’t have had the opportunities to take me that far.”