Family tradition in the show ring for Lindelands

Lauren Lindeland (right) showing off her Grand Champion Market Beef steer at the 2008 Minnesota State Fair.

Lauren Lindeland is a part of a family tradition of showing cattle.

Decades of experience, hard work and dedication are the keys to the Lindeland family successes in the show ring over the years.

Most recently Lauren, the youngest of the five Lindeland children, showed the Grand Champion Steer at the 2008 Minnesota State Fair. The steer was sold at the purple ribbon auction for a record $14,000.

But more important than any winnings for the Lindeland family, the opportunity to show their cattle has brought them closer together as a family.

The tradition started when Lac Lindeland, Lauren’s father, was just a boy. Lac began showing his family’s Angus cattle when he was 6 or 7 years old. Lac even had his first date with his wife, Lynn, at a cattle show.

Together Lac and Lynn raised four girls and a boy near Minnesota Lake. Each became active in 4-H at an early age and began showing cattle. Their oldest daughter started showing in 1988.

“It’s a thing that we do as a family together,” Lac said. The family works together to prepare cattle for show and they attend shows as a family. They attend eight to 10 shows a year in Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota. Lac said his wife, Lynn, turned those shows into family vacations as well as learning opportunities. The shows allowed for the children and the cattle to gain valuable experience to prepare them for the State Fair.

“The State Fair is the show we work up to all year,” Lauren said. “When we won Grand Champion Steer this year I thought about my dad and how bad he wanted it and how hard we had to work to get to that point.”

Lauren’s sister Lacey also won Grand Champion Steer at the 2001 Minnesota State Fair, a year after their mother, Lynn, passed away from cancer.

“It was really a touching moment,” Lac said of Lacey’s accomplishment. “We were all sure Mom was looking down on us.” Lynn played a big role in the showings and kept her kids motivated to do their chores for the cattle. The family continued to work hard and have dedicated years to the cattle, the competitions and to each other.

“It’s all worth it,” Lac said. “It’s a really great experience.” Preparing cattle for show is challenging, he said. There is a lot of work involved in training for the show, grooming, training the hair, feeding and exercising the cattle.

Lauren said in the summer the animal she’s working with becomes her best friend. In those months she is spending four to five hours a day with that steer, which is more time than she is able to spend with her friends.

Lauren is involved with the buying process of the cattle as well. She puts her own money into each calf. With her winnings from the 2008 Minnesota State Fair she plans to put some money toward her college education and some toward a heifer for the coming year, so she can keep and breed it after competition.

“I don’t know what my dad is going to do with himself when I’m done,” Lauren said about approaching her final year of 4-H and showing cattle. She is currently attending Minnesota State University, Mankato. She chose the school so she would be close enough to home to work with her next heifer for show.

Fortunately for Lac, the Lindeland family has another generation of showing potential. Lac has four grandchildren, one of which will show a calf this year in a novice competition. These children will also have the opportunity to develop leadership qualities, learn to work as a team and benefit from the same family bond that developed for the Lindelands while training and showing cattle.

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