Cierra Collins is the fifth generation of Collins Cattle Incorporated. She has been showing cattle almost her entire life. Collins started sixth-grade this year and has recently started her own podcast, Shooting for Grand, where she interviews other young showmen.
Collins is the daughter of Colby and Shellie Collins and she has two younger sisters, Claire, who is nine, and Cricket who is five.
Collins said she began showing at just three-years-old.
“I showed my very first bottle calf when I was three-years-old and I gradually moved up from there,” she said. “When I was seven-years-old I went to my first national show for the Junior National Hereford Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. There were many people from many different states, and ever since, I’ve been hooked on showing for life.”
As 2020 has raged on, many events where Collins would show her cattle or compete for other titles have been cancelled.
“For me, the most challenging thing I must face with showing cattle, especially right now, is staying positive and wondering if all the work I’m putting into my calf is worth it,” Collins said. “When the Oklahoma Youth Expo market steer show was canceled, the grief for all the other people and I was hard. It was hard seeing all the disappointed people that had worked so hard on their steers, and never even got to show them at their dream destination. Ever since then, I have been hesitant about if I will actually get to show, and if my hard work will pay off.”
Collins remains hopeful.
“My favorite part about showing cattle is the person that it has made me today,” she said. “The cattle industry’s functions and opportunities are incredible, and I don’t know who I would be otherwise.”
Collins interviews other cattle showman on her podcast to get their perspective of the cattle industry.
“I have had a great time with it, and I have found it to be my new passion,” Collins said. “Ever since I heard Faris Simon’s podcast (he is a good friend of my mom and dad’s) titled Chute Side, I’ve had a dream to start my own podcast. I wasn’t even sure it was possible, so I pushed it to the side. Several months later I had some good showing friends over, and as we were heading home we talked a lot about podcasts. That’s when I told my mom about how I wanted to start my own.
“Surprisingly, she took me seriously, and with some thought and research, we got started,” Collins continued. “I think my podcast is good for other youth to listen to because it teaches the importance of working hard, winning and losing with honor, and being a good role model. I am very thankful for the people who have gotten me where I am. My Aunt Christy sponsored some helpful money to get me going, my mom has helped me a lot with editing, and I’m just grateful for the overall support from my family and friends.”
Collins, as the oldest daughter, is a role model for her two younger sisters.
“As I told you, I have two younger sisters,” she said. “I enjoy working in the barn with them, and it feels good to have the responsibility of looking out for them. Sometimes I get in trouble for being ‘too motherly,’ and I’m yet still getting it figured out! It is very important to me to be a good role model to my sisters. I try to teach them to work, even when it gets hard. I help Claire a lot with her showing, and it’s always fun to help Cricket with her yearly bottle calves!”
Livestock shows have continuously been cancelled since March, which Collins says has made her miss opportunities to see her cattle-showing friends.
“It’s the little things that mean the most to me, like hanging around the stall and playing with all my friends,” Collins said. “During our five long months of summer break, we kept up with our schedule. We got up at seven o’clock every morning and gave the four steers and heifer a bath - which takes about an hour and a half, then at five o’clock we feed them, and at seven o’clock p.m. we brush them and turn them out in the their outside pens. Sometimes it was difficult to do it every day, but I stayed focused and got it done.”
Collins said she is looking forward to the Oklahoma City state fair, which was cancelled and moved to Duncan, and then the Tulsa State Fair.
“I will show my steers, Maverick, Slider, and Merlin - We have a Top Gun theme this year - and my little heifer Roxie. I am grateful that we are having these shows, and I will make the best of it!”
You can find Collins Podcast, Shooting for Grand, at https://anchor.fm/cierra-collins/.