The Texas Club Calf Association, which was the precursor of the Texas Junior Livestock Association, was founded in the fall of 1979 by Cherie Carrabba, Billy Rash, and Okie and Norman Anderson. It was the first Junior Livestock Association founded in America and was intended to be a point gathering and recording association for junior exhibitors within the state of Texas who exhibited steers.
In many ways it was modeled after the Professional Rodeo Cowboys’ Association in that it kept a record of a members’ performance at sanctioned shows for an entire year of competition.
The biggest difference was that the TCCA made education a cornerstone of its organization based upon the belief that junior exhibitors and their families have to become knowledgeable in many aspects of livestock care in order to become successful.
The first year of competition was 1980-81, and there were only eight sanctioned show: the State Fair of Texas, the Lubbock Steer Jackpot, the Garretson Prospect Show, the first Belt Buckle Bonanza, the Conroe FFA Jackpot Show, the Fort Worth Stovk Show, the San Antonio Stock Show and the Houston Livestock Show.
The first TCCA Champions were crowned at a banquet following the selection of the Grand Champion Steer st the 1981 Houston Livestock Show.
Two of the 13 TCCA Champions that year were Ricky Vogel and Tamera Myers, the exhibitors who had just been named the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Steers of the 1981 Houston Livestock Show.
The second year of operation there were 15 Sanctioned Shows which was an indicator of the great growth the organization would see in jackpot shows.
In 1983 the TCCA expanded their program to include a program for heifers.
In 1985 they created a program for lambs, and in 1986 the organization officially became the Texas Junior Livestock Association.
It took ten years for the TJLA to expand its program to include a division for swine. In 1999 the TJLA added a Meat Goat Division.
The TJLA produces three all species jackpots each year. In addition it produces an educational Camp for exhibitors who show steers, heifers, swine, lambs and goats.
The program which started out with 13 Divisions of competition now has 55 different breed divisions of competition, 16 Divisions of Showmanship competition, five All-Around competitions and a Regional Awards program.
Annually the TJLA sanctions more than 800 shows throughout the state.
In addition Cherie Bright has helped other states create similar organizations in Oklahoma, Georgia, Illinois, California, Colorado and many others.