Sunday, 18 March 2012

Born in the wrong town.

Some people are old souls, and claim they were born in the wrong decade, as they believe they would have been more comfortable with different fashion trends and music. Other people were born in the wrong town, thinking they would much rather enjoy a life either with the big city lights, or the stars above their cattle pastures. This post is about a girl who was born in the wrong town.

Going to college or university is about stepping outside of your comfort zone and finding out who and what you are going to be. My friend Thea Reed, did just that by attending Lakeland College and taking Animal Science Technology.

Thea was born in Squamish, BC, and spent practically her whole life there. For those of you who do not know where that is, you can find her hometown nestled between Vancouver and Whistler. Typically, this town isn't home to many aspiring agricultural professionals, except one.

Out in Manitoba, her aunt runs a feedlot, which got Thea started on her love for everything cows.

This is just a taste of her cow inspired room.
After applying to come to school in September 2010, Thea applied to work on the college farm for the summer of 2010, to help herself gain more knowledge on everything farming. Most people would never travel over 1500km away from home to start a new adventure like this. This is why I am amazed by this girl, stepping outside of her comfort zone, knowing this is what she wants to do for the rest of her life.

Almost 1500km away from home.

Working at the college farm that summer, Thea was finally able to purchase her first real cow to call her own. She bought a Jersey steer, and named him Stetson. As you can tell from the picture below, there was a lot of love between her and this little steer. Everyone that Christmas got Christmas cards, from Thea and Stetson.

Merry Christmas! Love, Thea and Stetson
There is a bond between a girl and her cow.

Somewhere along the ride of college, she began a love for the breed of Minature Herefords, which of course caught a lot of slack from our classmates. This did not, and still has not diminished her dream of becoming a miniature Hereford breeder. After starting Lakeland, Thea got involved in the Stockman's Club The club's purpose is to bring together students who are interested in the future of the cattle industry, while going to shows as well as exhibiting cattle. Thea was given the opportunity to travel to Denver, CO to attend the National Western Stockshow with the club. This was an opportunity of a lifetime for everyone on this trip. We spent about 4 days touring the barns at the show and learning about the "odd" breeds of cattle that are not your typical top contenders. There was a great attendance from the Minature Hereford breeders in America, and helped make Thea's dream much more concrete.

Thea posing with a Minature Hereford in Denver.

Another dream of Thea's was be an exhibitor of cattle at a cattle show. She did not care where, or with who's cattle, she just wanted to try it. This past Saturday at the Lakeland College Stockman's Club Little Royal Steer and Heifer Jackpot Show, her dream came true. On show morning, Thea came up to me and you could tell she was very nervous as this would be her very first time in the show ring, and asked, "Weren't you nervous your first time showing?" In which I answered, "Probably, but I was 11 years old, so I don't really remember." Which got me thinking, how much passion and drive she had to do this for her first time at the ripe age of 20. Everyone she was competing with had been showing for years, which only made her nerves run higher. However, you would have never known this watching her in the ring from the stands. She knew exactly how to set up her animal, where to rub it's belly to keep it calm, and her heifer was the only one who stood still throughout the entire class. This has got to say something about her love for all things cow.  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that Thea and her heifer won second place in their class!!

Thea exhibiting one of Lakeland College's heifers.
Photo credit: Cathy McKenzie

I am amazed by the passion and determination Thea exhibits when it comes to agriculture. Coming from a town where cow was simply a term used when talking about a steak or a glass of milk, she has found her home. I am confident that Thea will become a great Minature Hereford breeder, and an advocate for agriculture, I also believe she is a prime example of following your heart to do what you love, even if it does mean moving 1500km away from home.


  1. This is very interesting ! I love your blog keep up the good work. I wish my university had a stockman's club!

    Keep in touch.

  2. Very well written Rebecca. And Thea congrats to you for trying new things and adventures. Takes a strong person. Myself, a city boy, bought my first cow when I was 43! and loved every minute of it! you go girl!

    Allan Joseph

  3. Congrats Thea! You did awsome showing at little royal and we are proud of you! -a member of the stockman's club

  4. Proud to have Thea and Rebecca at Lakeland! Amazing Thea! Great blog Rebecca!

    Dean of Ag
    Lakeland College