Baylor Bonham is from Newcastle, Oklahoma. He is the soon-to-be 15-year-old son of Steve and Stacey Bonham. Baylor has a 22-year-old brother, Logan, who was also a very successful cattle showman. Baylor was born into a family where cattle and stock shows are a part of everyday life, which has developed a passion in him that will live forever. Baylor has been working since he was big enough to put on his boots and walk out the door on his own. He started going to the barn and “working” for his dad long before he was old enough to have his own show cattle. Baylor’s dad, Steve, owns and operates Bonham Show Cattle.
Even though he was around cattle from birth, Baylor developed a love for horses. He wasn’t interested in watching TV like most kids, but he would watch the movie “Seabiscuit” over and over. He got a really kid-friendly quarter horse, named “Tom,” for his fourth birthday. He rode Tom as much as he could and even did some riding at a local stable for a year or so. Baylor quickly got big enough to lead the show cattle by himself, and the interest in the horses took the back seat. He now had a new love, working with and leading his own show cattle. He absorbed all the information he could and quickly became knowledgeable about the stock show industry. Baylor still wasn’t old enough to compete in the big shows, but he was quick to tell his brother how to do everything. That didn’t always end well.
Baylor began his show career with great success. He won many banners, trophies and buckles in jackpots and prospect shows. His first 4-H/FFA show was the Tulsa State Fair, where he exhibited the Champion Chianina Market Steer. From there he has made several trips to the winner’s circle. He exhibited the Grand Champion Steer at the NAILE in Louisville in 2011 followed by the Grand Champion Steer at the National Western in Denver in 2012 and the Grand Champion Steer at the American Royal in Kansas City in 2012. He had Grand Champion Market Steer at the Tulsa State Fair in 2013 followed by Reserve Grand Steer in Louisville that year and even won the National Western Market Steer Show a second time, in 2014. Baylor is also very dedicated to perfecting his clipping and fitting skills. After all, he has the best mentor a guy could want, his uncle Travis Otterstad.
Baylor has now decided to also try his hand at showing pigs. It took him a long time to talk his dad into this new endeavor and to work out the details. But if you know Baylor at all, you know that one of his strong suits is being a man of persistence and persuasion. He started out with a couple of barrows for the 2014 Tulsa State Fair and did quite well, qualifying for the premium sale as a first-time pig showman. He talked his way into getting more pigs and trying again. He works so hard at everything he does that he is determined to educate himself and become more knowledgeable in the show pig arena. At Oklahoma Youth Expo in March 2015, he exhibited the lightweight Crossbred division champion barrow, which also qualified him for the Sale of Champions. He recently attended the World Pork Expo in Iowa in June and exhibited the lightweight Yorkshire division champion barrow, which went on to be named third overall York. Baylor is not sure what the future holds for him in the show pig arena, but he is giving it all he has for now.
Baylor also loves to buy cows and is constantly talking to someone about partnering with him on a great cow he has found. He has a few deals working and would have a lot more if his parents would give him free reign of his own business decisions. Baylor’s parents also talk about how intrigued and captivated he has been by the display bulls in Denver at the National Western Stock Show. He had wanted to be a part of that since he was about five years old. In 2015, he had the opportunity to live out his dream, as he is co-owner of an up-and-coming bull, Front and Center, owned with Phil Lautner. Being in Denver to display the bull and give his sales pitch over and over was a treasured opportunity but perhaps a little more difficult than he expected. However, he is full speed ahead in promoting his bull. It would be safe to say that Baylor Bonham will definitely have a future that involves cattle and possibly pigs in some capacity.
On a more personal side, Baylor has a huge heart and an even bigger work ethic. He is such a kindhearted young man and is willing to help anyone who will let him. He doesn’t leave the barn when his chores are finished—he wants to stay and help with anything else that needs to be done. He doesn’t watch TV, play video games or pretty much anything else indoors. He prefers to be busy all the time, even if it’s called “work.” He enjoys playing golf and is spending time this summer trying to improve his game. Even as a lefty, he is getting pretty good at it.
Recognized as a young leader in the community, Baylor is an honor roll student and just completed middle school as student council president. He attends the First Baptist Church in Newcastle and is part of their Youth group. Baylor is a Christian and strives to be a good servant for the Lord. Baylor’s mom, Stacey, has always stressed the commitment to family and friends and spending time with them on holidays and special occasions. Baylor says it all works out well when they just go to the shows with him, and that way everybody is happy. You can expect to continue to hear and read good things about Baylor Bonham. He will be in the show ring every chance he gets, and when those days are over, you will still see him active in the industry.