When going through some old things, Bree Taylor’s mother Brooke Taylor found an old art project book Bree had created for her 4-H County Fair showcasing her goals for the future. One side of the book shared the goal of playing softball in college and the other had the goal to earn the title of Grand Champion at OYE. Not even remembering making the book, the discovery impacted the back to back OYE Champion Market Wether exhibitor.
“It actually just hit me,” Bree said. “I was like wow, I set this goal when I was 10 and I’ve reached it.”
Bree’s initial interest in showing started at a young age when her dad partnered with their neighbor on a small goat farm. After spending time with the goats and helping taking care of them, Bree turned 9 and it was time to start showing. Bree’s dad, who grew up raising cattle, asked Bree what she wanted to show, and she said, “Goats of course.”
Although Bree didn’t start out showing ultra competitively, she still found her passion in it and increased her focus.
“My dad could see I was willing to work for it and willing to work for goals that I had set,” Bree said. “Every single year I realized I needed to get better at this one thing to make a step up the next year.”
Starting small helped Bree set, work towards and accomplish her goals. Taking it year by year and one show at a time helped motivate and push Bree towards them.
“I realized it was a super far-fetched goal,” Bree said of working towards the goal of OYE Grand Champion. “But I still wanted to have it.”
Being titled “Grand” is no easy task, as every showman knows. “It’s basically the state championship, but everybody’s one on one and you’re the best player.” Bree said.
Considering there were more than 13,000 animals shown in 2019, and 1,600 of those goats, it’s not an easy task.
You don’t just become a Grand Champion showman overnight, or a back-to-back one in Bree’s case. For Bree, it took years of experience and accomplishing goals before it became a reality.
“It came with a work ethic and me developing how I honed in my work ethic through all of the years.” Bree said. When setting your own goals, Bree said it’s important to remain realistic and set goals you know you can accomplish while also committing to seeing them through.
Bree said she wouldn’t be where she is today without the effort and support from her family.
“If I tried to do this by myself there would be no way my stock would look as good as it does or even be here,” Bree said. “I think I really just get my dad. We’ve just always thought alike,” she added. “He works so, so hard in everything he does and he’s taught me my work ethic and how to deal with the goats and how to do so many things to better them.”
It’s not just Bree’s dad who helps out. “Honestly all it really does come down to is teamwork,” Bree said.
While her dad helps boost her work ethic and provides ringside support, her mom and her sister help from behind the scenes. “All of them just come together, we really do just make a perfect team,” she said.
A phrase Bree keeps at the forefront of her mind in and out of the ring is something her youth pastor shared with her, “Let go and let God.” She didn’t start using the phrase until a tough year with high hopes left her standing in the ring.
“Just know the trials and tribulations you’re going through now are probably preparing you for something bigger and better in the future,” Bree said. “You have to have the luck to go with it, but if you don’t do the work at home you don’t create your own luck.”
Next stop for Bree? Just like any high school senior, college and fun are on her radar. With an already-impressive résumé in hand, which includes a National Livestock Judging Team Championship, back to back OYE Grand Champion Wether titles, the 2019 recipient of the Robert A Funk Achievement Award and scholarships, including one from longtime OYE sponsor, LongPoint Energy, the future is bright for Miss Bree Taylor.
She’s not done with agriculture yet though. Bree is attending Oklahoma State University and continues her involvement in agriculture through the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources various programs.
“I’ve done basically everything I’ve ever wanted to do in High School,” she said. With a glowing past and an even brighter future, we can’t wait to see what Bree Taylor accomplishes next.
– Written by Caroline Arendt