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Agriculture Today

Brooks no stranger to 2012 winners circle

Brooks no stranger to 2012 winners circle
Daylon Brooks of La Vernia is joined by his family and buyers to celebrate exhibiting the 2012 Grand Champion steer at the Wilson County Junior Livestock Show. The same animal earned fourth place in the Class II at the Fort Worth Stock Show.

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May 16, 2012
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“All in the family.”

These words could easily describe the unity of the Kenneth Brooks family of La Vernia. Three generations working together on a daily basis has really paid off for young Daylon Brooks, 12, a member of the County Line 4-H Club.

Daylon’s uncle, Kenneth “Keystone” Brooks Jr., and grandfather, Kenneth Brooks Sr., both of La Vernia, assist Daylon with the selection of his animals while teaching him animal husbandry skills.

The dedicated youth works 2-1/2 hours a day with his show animals at his grandfather’s place, from washing to grooming to working with the animals to improve his showmanship skills. On weekends, Kenneth works with other exhibitors and shares his knowledge of animal husbandry, as he did with his son, Keystone.

Kenneth, who prefers American and Exotic breeds, relies on “hands-on” experience to perfect his skills.

While Kenneth did not attend college, the skills he acquired through the years helped put Keystone through college by exhibiting swine and steers. Keystone earned a degree in animal science from Sam Houston College in Huntsville.

Now, the father and son duo are teaching a third generation, Daylon, the son of Tanya Brooks-Warnasch. The seventh-grader at La Vernia Junior High School proved his showmanship skills at the 2008 La Vernia Junior Livestock Show by winning the goats, cattle, and swine showmanship titles. This was no fluke. The following year, Daylon repeated his accomplishment, this time at the 2009 Wilson

County Junior Livestock Show.

A veteran showman himself, Kenneth helps select the animals for showing. He looks for calves with good composition, while purchasing reasonably priced animals.

The “little red steer shown in Austin is home-grown,” Kenneth proudly said, as well as the swine Daylon exhibited.

And what a year it has been for the Brooks family. So far in 2012, Daylon has exhibited:

•A fourth-place Class II steer in the Fort Worth Stock Show in January.

•The Grand Champion steer at the Wilson County Junior Livestock Show in January.

•The Reserve Breed Champion Duroc at the Wilson County Junior Livestock Show.

•An eighth-place lightweight Duroc barrow in the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in February.

•The Reserve Champion ABC Junior Market Steer Show in the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.

•A third-place Class IV Chianina steer in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in March.

•A first-place Class II ABC steer in the Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo in Austin in March.

Daylon will take a hiatus from the show ring for now, since his show year involves Fort Worth, Wilson County, San Antonio, Houston, and the State Fair (Austin). He will continue practicing and will participate in prospect shows, including the annual Y’all Come Back (YCB) Fall Classic Steer Show in Floresville in October.

Ironically, the YCB Fall Classic was where Daylon’s show-ring career began, at the tender age of 5 years, in the pee wee showmanship division, Tanya said.

“He has been around steers since he was born,” Tanya said.

His involvement in the show-ring came as no surprise to her. Tanya recalled the first time she saw the potential in her son at the age of 3 during the Houston show, when her brother was exhibiting.

Daylon would not stay with his mother; instead, he wanted to be in the show ring his uncle, she said. Later, since Daylon could not be in the ring with Keystone, he was found in the aisle, waiting for his uncle’s return. That incident in 2002 foretold Daylon’s fascination with the show ring, and it has paid off.

2008 was a good year for Daylon, when he showed the reserve breed champion Limousin at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, winning a $10,000 scholarship.

Tanya laughed and said she is the cheerleader, photographer, and “gofer” for this family affair.

Tanya also is no stranger to the ring. She placed in the top 12 with a turkey in the Houston Stock Show.

Like his uncle, Daylon’s auction premiums assist with the feed costs, the purchase of animals to show, and money for his college fund.

Will Daylon continue exhibiting animals?

“Animals is his sport,” Tanya said, although he started to play football this past year.

Daylon’s plan after high school is to continue his education and major in animal science, while Tanya hopes her only son pursues the veterinary field. It is almost certain his future holds large animals, such as swine and cattle.

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