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Montana Ag: Top Herdsman award goes to Wilsall NILE Merit recipient

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Posted at 8:23 PM, Nov 01, 2023

A NILE Merit Heifer Program member in Wilsall came away from the NILE competition with many accolades, including Top Herdsman and Top Record Book.

“To me it means a lot because top herdsman it’s not just what happens on show day, it’s a lot about what you do the months prior,” Teah Vennes said.

Vennes explains that to be Top Herdsman entails completing thorough monthly reports, attending regular classes related to cattle care and education, maintaining contact with your heifer donor, and keeping a detailed record book.

“The record book is really cool to me because I spent a lot of time, and it ended up being about 539 pages,” Vennes said.

“That was a three-month-long endeavor that I got put into,” she laughed.

Along with the NILE, Teah is passionate about sharing her experience and love of agriculture, through Lorrie Darlin, with others.

I think it’s really important that kids get their toe in agriculture,” Vennes said, “whether it be through the plant side or technology side, I think it’s really important for people to get their toes in the water.”

Teah and Lorrie Darlin have big plans ahead of them, as they continue to compete and await Lorrie’s first calf, but Teah says she’ll never forget where her herd started.

It’s really cool to me, and I can look back and say that Lorrie started all of this—like, she is the start of it all. And all the cows after her will be standing on the shoulders of a giant,” said Vennes.