Raising a show to new heights

WAYNESFIELD — Anyone can go and purchase a calf from another county in Ohio or even from another state, as Candace Muir sees it.
Working with the animal is still there, anyone who has shown animals at the Auglaize County Fair or any other fair knows that.
However, there is an extra sense of pride in participating in the Auglaize County Born and Raised Steer Show — knowing the animal was born here, raised here and trained here.
The Born and Raised Show has been an annual tradition for as long as the county has had a fair. The event is ran separately from the Junior Livestock Show as an open show.
In the past 15 to 20 years, the event is again gaining popularity, with 35 of the total 115 cattle shown at last year’s fair, or 30 percent, being in the born and raised class.
But the category has both its disadvantages and advantages, risks and rewards.
Muir, who took over as chair of the Born and Raised Steer Show at the fair just a few years ago, said she has been working hard to improve the awards in the classification. While participants in the Junior Fair Show receive the customary ribbons for their efforts, participants in the Born and Raised Steer Show find themselves receiving other awards as well.
“We work on finding sponsors so we can have bigger awards in the category and draw more interest,” Muir said. “It is a way of promoting the industry in the county.”
One specific benefit in
the Born and Raised Steer Show is that participants have the option of returning home with their animals. In a Junior Fair livestock show, it is mandated the cattle are slaughtered.
To participate, Muir said exhibitors must be able to prove their animals originated in the county.
“They have to have papers on each cattle,” Muir said. “And people talk. Everyone knows each other.”
Muir said the fact that participants may keep their animals has helped the event gain popularity. The show just opened up competition for goats to go along with the cattle show.
“I have heard from families that they will not bring their best steers because the fair went terminal,” Muir said. “It doesn’t make sense in this category because cows do not have the diseases that pigs carry.”
Two participants in this year’s Born and Raised Steer Show are 17-year-old Lidia Turner and 13-year old Jaden Maxwell.
Turner is the daughter of Gina and Tadd Turner, of Harrod, and Maxwell is the son of Lori and Collin Maxwell, of Waynesfield.
Both teens come from families with a long history of showing animals at the fair. Both participate in the open show as well as the Junior Fair Show.
Turner’s animal, which she has named, Bartholomew, was raised on her family farm.
“It is as team effort and you can get a lot of help,” Turner said.
Maxwell said it is a commitment, but fun.
“It is a year long commitment,” Maxwell said.
“It is fun to compete with people from around the county that you know,” he said.