The Baytown Sun

Ross S Sterling High School sophomore Paige Rome competed on March 3 at the Houston livestock show and rodeo in the calf scramble. 

She was one of 15 out of 30 students who caught a calf. 

The students in the scramble have a 50% chance on catching a calf — that weigh upward of 350 pounds, running almost 3 acres in front of 60,000 fans. The students not only have to catch one but halter the calf and bring back across the line.  

For her efforts, Rome won a scramble certificate to help her purchase either a steer or heifer to show in the 2021 livestock show in Houston. 

Rome is an active member of Cedar Bayou Junior’s FFA chapter and Sterling’s FFA chapter. She serves as the student adviser for her high school FFA chapter.  

This was her second year participating in the calf scramble but first time to catch one.  

Rome has been showing livestock since the age of 10. She is the fourth generation in her family to participate in the Baytown Youth Fair and the third generation to participate at the Houston livestock show and rodeo.

“I spend my evenings after school in the barn raising my show animals that consist of a lamb (Laramie) my heifer (Blu) and my steer for the Baytown Youth Fair (Cinch),” Rome said. “I was completely honored to be chosen by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to be a participate for the scramble. The volunteers and committee make sure we have a good time and enjoy our experience there.  It is exciting and scary to think that you are being watched by 60,000 people and all of them are cheering us on.”

Rome said her favorite animal to show is steers.

“Raising cattle, I have realized that they each have their own personalities and I personally do something special with each one of them,” she said. “This year Cinch has to raise his nose up for a kiss before he gets his feed. I had a Houston steer Sully that would wait until I said a prayer over his feed before he would start eating.”  

Rome is grateful for her family’s support. 

“It is truly a family activity. I can’t do this on my own,” she said.

After high school, Rome hopes to pursue a career in the medical field with becoming a large animal veterinarian. 

Rome’s family is proud of her. 

“We feel so blessed to be able to watch not only her but the other kids that are in these programs because they are a different breed of kids, said Rome’s mother Holly Thomas. “They get up early to take care of their animals and stay late in the barn at night doing the same.”

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