At the 2015 Ohio State Fair, 13-year-old Avery McGuire got the chance to witness firsthand the success that hard work often breeds when his brother, Oliver, exhibited the Reserve Grand Champion Market Steer.
On Wednesday inside the Merlin Woodruff Show Arena at the Champaign County Fairgrounds, Avery found success of his own and added another trophy to the family’s mantel by showing the county fair’s Grand Champion Steer.
“Hard work pays off,” Avery said. “It was pretty fun in 2015 when we had the Reserve Grand Champion Steer at the state fair, well my brother did, but it means a lot to win here. We’ve worked really hard.”
Avery, who is entering the eighth grade at West Liberty-Salem, said while he has been showing steer at the fair for the past five years, the animal wasn’t necessarily his first choice.
“I talked to Phil Prince, Jimmy Prince and Tom Prince, and they decided to get me showing steer at their place,” Avery said. “I guess I just got started thanks to them.”
As for the star of the show – a 1,400 pound, prize-winning crossbred steer – Avery said the animal was “a fun calf to have around the house.”
Official weighs in
Indiana resident Tim Schwab, judge of the 2017 Champaign County Fair Market Steer and Heifer Show, said the event “lived up to all its expectations.”
President of the Indiana Beef Cattle Association, Schwab added, “This project (showing steer) is the hardest project at the fair.”
Schwab said the decision to award Avery’s calf with the title of Grand Champion Steer wasn’t an easy one to make, but out of the four division winners vying for the top spot, Avery’s steer was “maybe just a little stouter throughout.”
“He’s just packed full of meat and muscle,” Schwab added.
The 1 1/2-year-old steer was bred just across the Champaign County line in Miami County at Shane Show Cattle, Fletcher.
Andrew Lewis’ 1,288-pound steer was named Reserve Champion Steer.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-508-2304 or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.