Baldwin High graduate earns new honor at state fair
After years of county, state and national competitions, MacKenzie Flory accomplished a new goal recently at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson.
Flory, a 2010 Baldwin High School graduate, received the award for Supreme Champion Overall Breeds for her heifer Lil Lady. It was the first time in her career of more than a decade that she's won the award.
“I was more than excited after my heifer was selected supreme of all breeds,” Flory said. “It is very rare that an Angus is chosen as supreme champ, so that made it all the better.”
Last December, Flory earned the honor of Reserve Overall Breeds, but the Supreme Champion distinction had never come her. Flory has also won Grand Champion within the Angus breed many times at local, state and national levels.
Flory didn't participate in the showmanship contest and was disappointed she wasn't able to show that day. However, she and Lil Lady came back later at the state fair to win the ultimate honor.
“I felt like I showed her the best I could,” Flory said. “I guess it was just her day.”
Flory began showing cattle when she was 7 at the Douglas County Fair in Lawrence. She continued showing cattle at the county fair until she left 4-H after high school. She has also been showing cattle on the state and national levels for many years.
“I enjoy it a lot and I always have,” she said. “It's something that I was naturally attracted to. Of course, there are times where I get frustrated or tired of it, because of the huge amount of work I put into it but overall it is very rewarding. Some of my best memories are either in the show barn or in the ring. I wouldn't trade any of it for the world.”
She will continue showing cattle at the national level until she turns 21. Flory is entered in the American Royal in Kansas City this fall, as well as the NAILE (North American International Livestock Exposition) in Louisville, Ky., in November and the NWSS (National Western Stock Show) in Denver.
“What started out as a 7-year-old's 4-H hobby has turned into a family business and almost a job,” Flory said. “Now my family works to produce and promote top of the line purebred Angus cattle. As much recognition as I've gained and accomplished over the years, it has been a family effort and none of it would be possible without my families support.”