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Leaders of Tomorrow: Marco Montanez

Author: Mallorie Kerrigan
November, 2017 Issue

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Sixteen-year-old Marco Montanez of Healdsburg has a passion for heifers and hogs and all things livestock. As a cattle shower, Montanez has come a long way in the two years he’s been in the livestock industry. In 2015, Montanez dedicated his summer to helping a friend feed and care for his cattle in preparation for showing at the Sonoma County Fair.

“He taught me how to care for a heifer named Lucky and how to show her,” says Montanez. When it came time to show Lucky, Montanez took the bull by the horns and showed her in the ring for his friend. Since then, Montanez’s natural instinct for raising and showing livestock has made him certain he has found his career path. “I figured how much I can make showing cattle, so I figured I could do that for the rest of my life as a career.

Caring for livestock offers Montanez the opportunity to be financially saavy at a young age, as well as instilling a valuable work ethic. “I wake up early before school and go to the ranch to feed the cattle,” says Montanez. With his good friend enrolled in the agriculture program at Chico State university, Montanez cares for his own heifer, as well as his friends’ more than 25 bulls and heifer’s on a ranch in Windsor.

In 2016, Montanez won a buckle for showmanship in Booneville. “That was my favorite moment,” he says. “My first year I won a buckle.” Montanez plans on attending the college of agriculture at Chico State university, furthering his education and pursuing a life-long career in ranching and raising cattle. For now, he says he will slowly grow his cattle and venture into breeding. “I’ll get another heifer and raise her until she’s about 2. Then I’ll breed her, sell the baby and continue that pattern.”

Montanez participates in five to seven shows annually, and one day, will likely be your local cattle rancher.

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