Molly Gage of Rochelle was generously rewarded for a year of hard work on March 7 at the 2003 Houston Livestock Show and RodeoTM Calf Scramble Banquet. Gage, a McCulloch County 4-H student at Brady Middle School, was presented at the annual banquet with the Reserve Champion Hereford/Polled Hereford Scramble Heifer belt buckle donated by Robert Philpot. The opportunity to participate in the banquet began in 2002 when Gage was awarded a $1,000 calf purchase certificate in one of three contests: calf scramble, livestock judging or dairy judging. The certificate, donated by High Bidders Inc., was used to purchase a registered beef heifer. During the past year, Gage was required to submit monthly reports to show officials and her certificate donor. In addition, she was required to groom and care for the heifer, keep a photo record and write a 500-word essay detailing the experience. The project was completed with the guidance of County Extension Agent Jerry Kidd. Then, this year, winners from the preceding year brought their animals back to Houston for a special show-ring competition. During this show, the heifers were judged, and the youngsters had the opportunity to compete for a variety of awards and prizes. In addition, each winner returning to Houston with a completed animal project was awarded $250 by his or her certificate donor as a reward for a job well done. “This banquet is a chance to recognize all of last year’s winners and give special recognition to those who have really given it extra effort,” said Jim Winne, chairman of the calf scramble donors committee that oversees the annual banquet. “These young men and women have really worked hard since last year’s show. They brought a fine group of heifers to Houston, a real tribute to the scramble program and to the future of the agriculture industry here in Texas,” Winne said.