6/14/2014 2:36:00 PM Kayla Niederer shows livestock with passion, compassion
Camp Verde resident Kayla Niederer “takes her showing to a level that some kids only strive to be like,” says Kristi Mulcaire, Camp Verde High School agricultural science teacher. “She cares for each of her animals and treats them with a compassion that is illustrated in the show ring.” Courtesy photo.
At the 2014 Verde Valley Fair, Kayla Niederer won buckles at the Verde Valley Fair for Senior Showmanship Breeding Sheep, Grand Champion Market Lamb, Senior Showmanship Market Lamb and for Large Stock Round Robin. VVN/Jon Pelletier
CAMP VERDE - The awards she has won the past seven years would fill the back of more than one baseball card.
This year alone, she won buckles at the Verde Valley Fair for Senior Showmanship Breeding Sheep, Grand Champion Market Lamb, Senior Showmanship Market Lamb and for Large Stock Round Robin.
Her high school agriculture teacher said that the six months they worked together "feels like years."
And her mother is quite proud of her.
"She's awesome at what she does," says Jennifer Niederer of her 18-year-old daughter.
And Kayla Niederer didn't even begin to work with livestock until she was 10 years of age.
"One of my friends showed," she says. "Another friend said, 'Hey, maybe we should try it?' My friends suggested it would be something different."
Besides having learned a few things about livestock, Niederer has also learned a few things about herself.
"Showing is something I found I enjoy. And I'm good at it," she says. "When I was 10, I was very shy, in my shell. This has made me a more outgoing person. I've found myself more confident. I don't second-guess myself."
Besides winning awards at the Verde Valley Fair, Niederer has been a winner at the Camp Verde FFA, Southern Arizona International Livestock Association (SAILA), Arizona State Fair and the Arizona National Livestock Show.
Now a graduate of Camp Verde High School, Niederer hopes to continue her studies at the University of Arizona, not only continuing to learn about livestock, but also sharing her passion with others.
"I almost like teaching as much as showing," Niederer says. "People at shows have taught me. I want to take in more kids to train. It's rewarding to see my hard work help someone else succeed."
According to Kalea Taylor, CVHS agriculture education teacher and FFA advisor, students who continuously win awards are oftentimes slow to part with their secrets.
"But Kayla has such a passion for showing, realizing how important it is for students, that she is willing to help anybody with their showing skills," Taylor says. "Her knowledge about sheep surpasses any other student I have encountered. I wish I had more time with Kayla so we could get her the recognition in FFA she deserves."
Taylor also says that Niederer "is one of the reasons that the FFA chapter has been successful over the past two years."
"She served as vice president last year, and I am told that she stepped up beyond measure to help the chapter out [by] working extra hours, organizing the banquet, coaching students for fair, and countless other tasks that she was not asked to do," Taylor says. "Kayla was president this year, and did an extraordinary amount as a whole. She was at every event, helped set up, plan, and carry out all FFA activities."
For the past eight years, Kristi Mulcaire has known Niederer through school, Camp Verde Pals and the FFA. Mulcaire, agricultural science teacher at CVHS, says Niederer is a "go-getter, a young lady on her way to succeed."
"She takes her showing to a level that some kids only strive to be like," Mulcaire says. "She cares for each of her animals and treats them with a compassion that is illustrated in the show ring. She has grown from one lamb to a whole flock of high quality sheep. Kayla also was challenging herself to raise and show other livestock, such as a steer and meat goats. Her leadership in and out of the show ring demonstrates her drive to succeed, her willingness to get others involved and the importance of setting high standards."