XENIA — With 13 total classes in the market beef competition, Greene County has some stiff competition at the junior fair.
That didn’t stop 11-year-old Hagan Witt from winning Overall Market Beef Grand Champion in the first year he has ever shown cattle. Witt, a first year member of the Go-getters 4-H Club, said he was – understandably – nervous before the competition.
“Once I enter the ring, the nerves go away,” he said.
Witt was declared Division 2 Champion in Market Steer Beef earlier in the day. His steer, Zeke, required lots of preparation to get ready for the big day.
“Lots of brushing,” Witt said of his pre-show activities.
Initially, during the final drive, Witt was afraid his steer wouldn’t get picked.
“[The judge] went to the Division 3 calf first. I was afraid he wouldn’t pick me. But then, he came over and smacked my steer,” he said.
Raising cattle takes a lot of work. Those who go to see a cattle show don’t see the years of effort that kids and their families put into making sure their steers and heifers are in top shape. Jacob Furay, who was the Grand Champion in Homegrown Market Beef, has been showing cattle for nine years, ever since he was 6 years old.
“Being consistent every year is best,” his family said.
Even on show day, preparing for the ring is a diligent affair. Claire Morris, who won the first division of the market steer show, said she gets her calf ready before she even prepares herself.
“When I get up, I don’t even get myself ready,” she said. “I go out and wash him, brush him, make sure his hooves are clean.”
Being in the ring requires complete focus. Guiding a half-ton animal across the mulch is no easy feat, and it’s a mental challenge as much as a physical one. Morris said her steer, whose name is Moose, can be affected by nervousness just as much as she.
“He gets nervous around the turkeys,” she said, referring to the poultry cages kept near the arena. “When he’s mad, I have to be calm. I have my eyes on the judge, but in the ring, it’s just you and the calf.”
According to Morris, despite the headaches and the struggles, the best part of the whole ordeal is the bond formed between the showman and the calf.
2020 Market Beef show results (Champion, Runner-up)
Homegrown Market Beef – Jacob Furay, Claire Morris
Market Steer, Dairy – Wade Hutchison, Gracelyn Heider
Scramble Calf – Katelyn Eavers, Victoria Chaney
Market Heifer – Adam Cline, Jacob Furay
Market Steer, Division 1 – Claire Morris, David Barron
Market Steer, Division 2 – Hagan Witt, Gracie Oberschlake
Market Steer, Division 3 – Jacob Furay, Travis Keighley
Market Beef Overall Grand Champion (1-5) – Hagan Witt, Adam Cline, Gracie Oberschlake, Jacob Furay, Travis Keighley
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