By Joel Hillan

DENVER (CBS4) – Forty children got to show off their hard work at the National Western Stock Show Sunday Morning. They are a part of the Catch-a-Calf program.

Each kid is given a calf in May. They raise them, then show them at the NWSS.

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“This is my Catch-a-Calf steer; his name is Courthouse Pete,” said Shane Dawson.

Dawson is a senior at Lander Valley High School in Wyoming.

“I’ve never worked harder or learned more than I have with Courthouse Pete,” she said.

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“It’s a great development tool where kids learn a lot of responsibility, and I think all of us know it’s difficult to teach kids responsibility in our society,” said Marshall Ernst.

Ernst serves as the Senior Director of Livestock Operation for the stock show which is in charge of the Catch-a-Calf program.

(credi: CBS)

“What you find is that the work ethic that these kids develop, no matter where they go they are going to be super talented and super sought after by employers,” he said.

“I learned about patience. I learned that good things come with time. I learned about resilience, that if things don’t go your way, you just have to get back up and keep trying. I also learned that if I want to do something, I’ll do it,” said Dawson.

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She captured the blue ribbon and that means it’s almost time to say goodbye to Courthouse Pete.

“I’m going to miss this program so much, it has had such an effect on me. I’m literally almost breaking into tears.”

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The Catch-a-Calf program has been an annual tradition at the Stock Show since 1935, and just like Dawson, has a bright future.

“It’s alive and well and will continue for another 100 years we hope,” said Ernst.

Joel Hillan

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