A Booneville High School FFA member, and chapter president, Ty Carter has been inducted into the Purple Circle Club for her 2020 Arkansas State Fair Grand Champion commercial calf.
Carter, a senior, has shown animals at the state fair five years, finally breaking through to the Purple Circle Club for grand champions with an Ayshire dairy calf.
“It’s like the best of the best,” she said of the club. “You have kids from all around the state competing.”
Carter's club induction, which traditionally comes in a banquet setting that was scrubbed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, came after untold hours of perfecting her craft.
“Walking (the calf), getting her ready to set up,” Carter said of the daily routine. “I spend at least two to three hours a day working with her. I feed them in the morning and work with them a little bit, and then at night I walk them more, get her where she’ll set up and work with her more.”
The win at the state fair also comes in a year in which Carter was able to show the calf at just one other fair, her home South Logan County Fair in Booneville. There, Carter won Reserve Grand Champion for Dairy Female.
Now just 6-months old, the animal was not old enough for the fair in Paris and the coronavirus cancelled the Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair usually held in September in Fort Smith.
Carter’s days with the calf are not over, however.
Because junior showmanship is open to students through the state fair of the year in which they graduate, Carter plans to keep showing the calf, which will have by then turned a year old and will be considered a heifer during the 2021 fair circuit.
“I plan on going to Little Rock again, since it’s on a weekend,” Carter said. “We’re going to turn (the calf) loose, let her get some energy out, and let her settle down, and then get her back up and continue where we left off.”
Besides the Ayshire calf, which she calls “Baby Cow Cow,” though it has a registered name of “Caylee”, Carter also exhibited sheep, a registered shorthorn, and a market steer at this year’s state fair.
Due to the restrictions in place to have the fair, that meant three different trips to Little Rock for Carter.
Besides the Purple Circle Club entry, Carter placed second with the purebred shorthorn, eighth with the steer, and 20th with her sheep. She was also third in showmanship.
Before becoming eligible for FFA as a freshman, Carter had been a 4H member since she was 5 years old.
Also the president of her 4H club, Carter is heavily involved with community service projects there including filling blessing boxes, working at the animal shelter, and flag placement on veteran’s graves at Oak Hill Cemetery on Veteran’s Day.
Through 4H and FFA Carter has shown about every animal eligible for a livestock show, including pigs and goats.
“I’ve never owned a goat but I’ve shown goats,” she said.
A high achieving student with a course load that includes Spanish II, history, AP Calculus, AP Language, and Advanced Anatomy and Physiology, after high school Carter plans to major in radiology and minor in CT, MRI, X-ray, and ultrasound, at either UAFS or UAMS.