The Student News Site of Pella High School


The Student News Site of Pella High School


The Student News Site of Pella High School


Show Bizz


Extracurriculars are a common part of the high school experience. However, while some students play sports year round or perfect an instrument, a few Pella High students are members of a unique community: livestock showing.

Involvement in showing is a generational affair with many showmen having been surrounded by cattle and the showing world from a young age. Sophomore Ty Van Vliet is no exception.

“I show livestock because my family has done it for years, long before I was born,” Van Vliet notes. “[and] as long as I can remember, I was around and usually forced to show. But as I grew up, I really learned that I loved it, so I began to work harder at it, and with that, I just enjoyed it even more.” 

Van Vliet primarily works with cattle, similar to fellow showman freshman Simon Thoreson. The junior has come to love the discipline that goes into the process of getting an animal ready for competition.

“One [part of showing] that sticks out the most to me is learning about the daily grind,” Thoreson elaborates. “To do something right day in and day out is a very good life skill to have. I have learned so much about what it means to do something right.” 

Since showing is a year round affair, the daily grind doesn’t stop. Shows are held nationwide, with Pella representatives at several of them. Favorites include Louisville and Phoenix events. But as Van Vliet notes, competitions are about more than just the animals.

“My favorite part about it isn’t even the actual showing part, it’s just the fun we have being there and the fitting and preparation of getting them ready for the show and just the overall experience with friends and family,” said Van Vliet.

Shows are not limited to just cattle; goats are another popular animal to enter into competitions. Sarabeth Decious, a PHS sophomore, enjoys some of the same aspects of showing as Van Vliet and Thoreson, particularly her family’s legacy and love of the sport.

“I’m a 5th generation livestock showman,” Decious notes.  “I get to show because my parents decided to raise me similarly to how they were raised, in the show barn.”

While livestock showing might not be the most popular activity for high schoolers, it is certainly a unique one. The passionate community of showmen at Pella High doesn’t plan on slowing down. As Decious so well puts, “I’ve continued showing because it’s what I’m most passionate about and want to pursue not only for myself but for my family and future generations.”

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About the Contributor
Alloree Else, Executive Web Editor
Alloree is a junior at Pella High and's Web Editor. She has been on staff for two years, and is also invoved in tennis, jazz band, and student council. She is an avid coffee drinker and could name any Hannah Montana song in 5 seconds or less.

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