Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Two from Big Foot take top prizes at fair

September 06, 2012

Austin Duhigg holds up a placard with his grand champion carcass steer.
ELKHORN — Before bringing her grand champion steer into the Sale of Champions on Friday at the Walworth County Fair, Emma Brost, of the Walworth 4-H, admitted it wouldn't be easy to walk her 1,285-pound animal around the showroom.

Before auctioning off her prized steer, Brost, 15, covered its black hair with glitter and prepped him to be showcased in the Wiswell Center.

"He is stubborn," she said. "Walking him in the ring is not fun."

Brost's prediction was spot on, and the steer didn't exactly cooperate. However, the stubborn steer didn't scare off bidders, who demonstrated they were willing to spend big bucks on the coveted animal.

When the bidding stopped and the gavel fell, Brost's steer brought in a cool $5 a pound.

Brost wasn't the only winner from the Walworth 4-H. Austin Duhigg, 16, took home a grand champion carcass steer.

Duhigg had an easier time showing his animal in the Wiswell Center. He held up a placard displaying all the information bidders needed to know.

The grade quality Ch. Its fat thickness 0.5. Its ribeye area 13.1 and its KPH 2. That was enough for bidders to spend $2.50 a pound for the animal, which had already been butchered and is ready for the dinner table.

Before selling their animals, the two Big Foot High School students said they weren't that concerned about how much money their steers sold for. Instead, they both were just excited to have won grand champion prizes.

"I don't really care (what it sells for). Winning was so good," Duhigg said.

Duhigg has shown pigs and steers since he was 8, and Brost has shown pigs since she was 8 and steers since she was 10.

Young people who want to showcase their animals at the Walworth County Fair spend the summer months prepping their livestock for the big event. For months before events, competitors carefully feed and groom their prized pigs, steers and lambs.

So, after a month of careful prepping, what makes an animal a grand champion? Neither Brost nor Duhigg had to think long before answering that question.

It depends on feeds, they both agreed.

Brost said her steer also had nice hair, which helps.

"He had a lot of hair and that made him look better," she said. "We got him at a market show and he was really market-ready."

Both Duhigg and Brost said raising animals is something that their families are involved with. Both have siblings that show or have shown animals at the fair.

How does Brost feel about her prized animal soon becoming someone's dinner?

"It's OK with me, that's what they were made for," she said.