Raised in a barn is how the saying goes, but Colton Barton was raised in the cattle industry. Barton’s first memory of showing cattle was at a show in Floresville, Texas with a mini-Hereford steer on the halter and an assistant helping him walk through the show ring.
Barton’s grandfather raised commercial Limousin cattle and his mom grew up showing Angus heifers. With two older siblings already showing cattle, Barton had little choice as to where his path would take him. But, he wouldn’t change it for the world.
Today, Barton serves on the 2020 - 2021 North American Limousin Junior Association (NALJA) Board as a director and runs Barton Cattle Company with his brother Chris in Jarrell, Texas.
Feels like home
Over the years, Barton has shown many breeds, but said there was just something special about the Limousin breed when growing up and that’s why he’s continued to be so involved.
“I’ve always loved the limi breed,” Barton said. “The fact that the Limousin breed has always felt like home, I’ve always felt like I’ve had friends there.”
“You kind of establish this family,” Barton said. “It doesn't matter where you go, when you’re stalled with the limi folks, everyone just gets along so well. I guess I haven’t really seen that in any other breed I’ve been involved in.”
In January of 2019, Colt Schrader, a past NALJA board member, approached Barton at the Denver livestock show about running for the board. Shcrader thought Barton would make a great leader, especially in a time where the board was looking for a fresh perspective. After being persuaded by several mentors in the breed, he ultimately wanted to give back to the breed that has had the most impact on him.
“When you go to these junior nationals everyone is so welcoming,” said Barton. “I wanted to continue that for kids that come after me - where they’re excited to go to Limousin shows, see their friends and expand their knowledge through the breed.”
According to the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF), the main purpose of the NALJA board is to plan national programs and activities for members.
“It’s a lot of teamwork,” said Barton. “Two board members go to each major show and we assist in fundraising as well as plan next year’s junior national show together.”
The board’s primary responsibility is to organize, plan and run the National Junior Limousin Show & Congress each summer as well as represent the breed at state and regional field days. Juniors can sit on the NALJA board for up to four years or until they age out at 22.
Memories that last a lifetime
Barton has attended many junior national shows, but his favorite one to date was in 2018 when the show was hosted in Denver, Colorado. With a little influence from the weather, his entire family attended the show that year which made it memorable. Barton also said, just the aspect of being in Denver, his favorite major show, felt special.
When looking back on his favorite show memories, Barton remembers his cow Daisy with the most fondness. After taking a break from showing Limousin cattle, his family came back to the breed through purchasing the heifer in 2016 from Lawrence Family Limousin. Since then, Barton and his brother have fit heifers and helped work for Bruce at Fort Worth and Denver stock shows each year.
“That heifer had a lot of success in the show ring but also brought us close to the Lawrence family and established a great relationship,” Barton said.
Barton says his prized highlight in the show ring is when Daisy won Reserve Champion of her division in Denver, won Reserve Champion at the Fort Worth Junior Heifer Show, and Grand Champion Fort Worth Open Show heifer all in a three week span.
As a young showman, Barton always wondered how far he could go in this industry and how big he could make his own operation a success. A mentor of Barton’s once told him his favorite quote to live by, and what he tells juniors when they ask for advice. “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”
“It was always something I kept at the top of my mind,” said Barton. “If you live with that mindset you’ll never be afraid to take on a challenge.”
Now, Barton and his brother Chris run Barton Cattle Company, raising and selling several breeds including Limousin. With his operation, Barton has big dreams to help juniors and their families just as mentors have for him.
“My dream is that it gets bigger and starts helping more families, and helps families meet their goals,” said Barton.
Barton is excited to serve as a junior board director and is looking forward to the 2021 stock show season. He can’t wait for Junior Nationals in Grand Island, Nebraska to see his limi family and all the juniors who are, too, being raised in the cattle industry.