SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois State Fair is underway, and on Saturday, Junior livestock champions were selected. The Hoge family of Good Hope in McDonough County raised the champion lamb and goat, but the top steer and barrows were from the WCIA viewing area.
Ashtin Guyer of Robinson had the grand champion steer, a cross bred. Guyer said he weighs 1337 pouds.
“His name is King and we’ve showed him a few times, and we’ve never done anything like this before,” Guyer said. “I am so excited.”
What is the secret about raising a grand champion steer?
“It takes a lot of hard work,” Guyer responded. “Early mornings and late nights, that’s for sure.”
Brandon Callis of Minco, Okla. was the judge for the steer show and said King had all the top qualities.
“A little bit of everything,” Callis said. “He put everything together and he was fresh and just kind of worked.”
How does the rest of the livestock compare to other shows that you have judged?
It’s one of the best,” Callis responded. “The top end of these things, almost everywhere you go, they’re good. It’s right with the rest of them.”
Kids are doing a very good job these days, and that means better livestock in the future, a notion Callis confirmed.
In the barrow show, Drake Fletcher of Athens had the heavyweight champion.
“He weighed in at 295. He’s a cross bred barrow. He was classed 22 of the day which put him in the heavyweight division,” Fletcher said. “He’s on just basic ground corn feed with supplements involved. We just measure out each day and change the measurements just to get him appropriate for show day.”
The reserve champion barrow was shown by a familiar face: Ella Bobel of Lincoln.
You’ve got champion hogs year after year after year. You’re a dynasty. How do you do that?
“Hard work every day,” Bobel said. “Just like Kendal said, you can’t give up, no matter what you are faced with. You can’t ever stop believing.”
The advice of a perennial champion.