HUNTLEY – Southeast High School senior, Bree Coxbill recently experienced success showing her livestock at the Denver National Western Stock Show.
Growing up the fourth generation on her family’s farm near Huntley, the agricultural way of life has shaped the young Coxbill. “It has made me the individual I am today,” she said.
When Coxbill was just eight years old, she joined 4-H showing livestock and participating in various other projects. While she started out showing pigs and lambs, for the last six years, goats and lambs have been her livestock of choice, showing at the local, state and national levels.
Coxbill began her own commercial boar goat operation after purchasing two foundational does approximately four to five years ago. “I now have five does and two sires,” Coxbill said. “My program’s goal is to produce high-quality show wethers and does. It has taken time to build up a great genetic base, however in any operation, quality genetics is the first priority.”
After having purchased from breeders all over the country, Coxbill can proudly say that two wethers she’s raised herself have both placed in the top end of their classes at national shows.
Showing comes with months of preparation, dedication and care. With sales beginning around February through April, Coxbill says she has all her show stock in the barn by April or May, when the real work begins.
“Whenever I mentor younger showmen and their families, I always like to tell them we are the caretakers of our animals and how well we take care of our animals will definitely show in their health and at the shows you attend.” Coxbill said. “Showing, in its own aspect, is similar to sports as you train your animals six days a week with one day off.”
Sometimes training her livestock for two to four hours a day in preparation for big shows, Coxbill expressed the time commitment and dedication involved in showing livestock. Aside from the daily chores and training, learning about feed, nutrition, medication and health care all come with the territory as well.
All the training leads to show-time and Coxbill is a seasoned athlete, having competed the last 11 years not only at the county and state fairs, but the American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri, the NAILE in Louisville, Kentucky, the Arizona National in Phoenix, Arizona and the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado.
The 2022 National Western Stock Show in Denver brought great success. “The National Western Stock Show will always hold great nostalgia for me as it was the first show I started the goat project, and my last ever Jr. stock show,” Coxbill said. “At the 2022 National Western, I was selected as the Heavyweight Champion and sale qualifier. This was the first year the Market Goat Grand Drive was in the coliseum.”
Following in her mother’s footsteps, Coxbill noted what an experience it was, as her mother showed in the same arena 34 years prior.
“To make the Junior Premium Sale was a great accomplishment as there are only six positions for market goat exhibitors, this is only the Grand and Reserve Division winners. It was my first time ever qualifying for the sale. At the National Western, there is a great opportunity to partake in the Premier Exhibitor process,” Coxbill said.
“This includes taking a test after the show, preparing/delivering a speech to a panel of judges, an interview, and scores based on your placing in the market show and showmanship. From my combined scores, I was selected as the Market Goat Reserve Premier Exhibitor. It was a great way to end my showing career, and my family and I feel blessed to end on such a wonderful note.”
Transwest Ford of Torrington purchased Coxbill’s division winner from the Junior Livestock Sale. She plans to use the proceeds from the sale for her future educational endeavors. “I am truly thankful for their support,” she said.
Coxbill attributes showing livestock to many valuable life lessons learned such as hard work, time management, grit, honesty, how to lose graciously and also humility in the face of success.
“I am grateful to have acquired countless banners, buckles, plaques, and titles, however, my biggest accomplishment is the personal growth and connections I have made,” Coxbill said. “I have seen myself grow into an independent individual that has found a passion for serving and helping others.”
Having been able to share her knowledge with other show families across the nation and making lifelong friends along the way, Coxbill said that she’s learned to enjoy the journey. “In doing so, I have made lifelong connections and memories that will last for many years to come.”