The Market Steer Show ended the fourth day of competition for the Angelina County Fair Friday, leaving many students happily preparing for today’s auction.
Victoria Concha, a sophomore at Lufkin High School who competed for Lufkin FFA and Angelina 4-H Club, was awarded Grand Champion, while Kennedy Marshall, a junior at Lufkin who competed with Lufkin FFA, earned Reserve Grand Champion.
Concha showed a 1,245-pound steer and took first in the previous round for the second weight class — the medium to lightweight steer. She said she felt like he had really good rib depth and he was able to walk well, which helped showcase the best parts of him.
“For competition, it’s all before the show,” she said. “Making sure he’s eating right and drinking well. Making sure he gets the exercise he needs so he’ll do well at the show ring.”
Marshall showed a 1,345-pound steer and also took first in the previous round for the fourth weight class, medium to heavyweight steer. She said his musculature and structure were really what gave her an edge with the competition. This was something she worked on for months before showing to make sure he was ready.
“I woke up at about 6:30 as a nervous wreck and I’ve just been nervous all day,” she said. “I’m not going to lie, it’s really hard. But you can’t let yourself get down when you have something hard happen when you’re showing, or at home when you’re getting ready for the show. It will get you somewhere.”
As a new part of the county fair, a group of students with learning disabilities were offered the opportunity to show animals provided by 4-H and FFA students from across the county. Each of the competitors was matched with an animal and set of helpers that best fit their abilities and were able to show them.
Nine-year-old Luke Whisenant, who is autistic, showed a lamb, goat, pig and rabbit. His mom, Trista, said he loves animals and did really well showing them.
“They’re doing great,” Luke said. Next year he wants to show “a cow, a horse, a chicken, a rooster.”
He said his favorite part was the rabbits, but he also liked the lambs and goats. He didn’t like the pigs because they were too big.
“It’s just amazing that they took the time out of their day to do something to really help these kids,” Whisenant said. “Luke does really well with animals and we didn’t know if this was going to be a next step for him, but he truly enjoyed it.”
Karen Stafford was part of the effort to bring this event to the county and said she intends to keep it going as long as they can. The event is already scheduled for next year’s fair.
Huntington High School junior Dylan Duran has been showing animals at the fair since third grade. This year he showed a set of 18-month-old half-sisters in the Commercial Heifer Division, where he took first for Senior Interview and Reserve Champion for his cows.
“I usually raise my heifers, but this year I bought them,” he said. “I’ll probably take them home and keep them for a while. … You want a set that’s uniform, meaning they’re the same. You want them to be the right age and a good, hearty breed.”
Commercial heifers need to be certain ages and ready for breeding, said Saundra Renfro, heifer superintendent. Students have to make sure the animal is healthy and obviously well taken care of. They’re required to maintain records of all their expenditures, as well, to show what they’ve put into their cows. Duran said he put $2,000 of his own money toward his cows, including the cost of purchasing them.
Huntington High School senior Devan Lout gained the title of Division Grand Champion Overall for the hog show. This is his second year raising hogs, but he has shown horses and chickens since he was 9.
With this being his last year of competition, Lout was pretty excited to win the Overall Grand Champion award. His strategy was simple: “try.”
Eight-year-old Caddo Waites won Reserve Grand Champion for the medium lightweight competition. This was his first time competing. He said he was nervous, but winning made it a little better.
“It was awesome,” Caddo said.
Raising a hog takes work. Caddo had to walk his hog every day for 15-20 minutes, practice keeping her head up, feed her twice a day and more. He plans on continuing to compete in this category, like his sister.
Diboll High School senior William McGuire won Grand Champion in the Senior Woodworking competition for his large bar complete with several stools, a sink and plenty of counter space.
“I feel pretty ecstatic because I’ve won this four years in a row now,” William said. “I love seeing something come from the ground up, from nothing to something.”
William, his grandfather, his father and his sister, Katylen, work together on wood projects, and William said a lot of his knowledge came from his grandfather.
“He’s been right there with me showing me how to do it,” William said.
Katylen also won Grand Champion for her Junior Woodworking Project, a river table. She said she was excited and shaky to hear she won. While she had researched ways to accomplish her project idea, the table didn’t come out at all like she expected, she said. But that wasn’t a bad thing.
“I’m very happy with it,” Katylen said. “These projects give me new things to learn about. I just like building things. We all got the gene of building stuff, and it’s like, we come up with something and we just build it.”
Market Steer Show:
■ Lightweight Grand Champion: Garry Evett from Huntington 4-H
■ Lightweight Reserve Champion: Madison Warren from Central FFA
■ Medium-Lightweight Grand Champion: Victoria Concha from Lufkin FFA
■ Medium-Lightweight Reserve Champion: Paul Slatter from Hudson FFA
■ Medium Weight Grand Champion: Davana Steptoe from Central FFA
■ Medium Weight Reserve Champion: Dylan Rankin from Lufkin FFA
■ Medium Heavyweight Grand Champion: Kennedy Marshall from Lufkin FFA
■ Medium Heavyweight Reserve Champion: Dalton Morton from Huntington FFA
Arts & Crafts Best of Show List:
■ Pre-Junior Wood: Cotton Rosser
■ Junior Wood: Katylen McGuire
■ Senior Wood: William McGuire
■ Pre-junior Wood/Metal Combo: Dallas (Trip) Sanders
■ Junior Wood/Metal Combo: Xzavier Silva
■ Senior Wood/Metal Combo: Haley Phillips
■ Pre-Junior Fine Arts: Noah Cox
■ Junior Fine Arts: Emily Walker
■ Senior Fine Arts: Joe Tucker
■ Pre-Junior Photo: Karlee Packard
■ Junior Photo: Macy Crustner
■ Senior Photo: Perrin Teer
* Pre-Junior Other: Brianna Warner
■ Junior Other: Emily Phillips
■ Senior Other: Colby Payne
■ Pre-Junior Metal: Mason Stafford
■ Senior Metal: Tanner Williams
Hog Market Show:
■ District Grand Champion Overall: Devan William Lout
■ District Reserve Grand Champion Overall: Colby Payne
■ Senior Showmanship Grand Champion: Madison Gartman
■ Junior Showmanship Grand Champion: Morgan Ramber
■ Grand Champion Lightweight: Madison Gartman
■ Reserve Grand Champion Lightweight: Adron Capps
■ Grand Champion Medium Lightweight: Devan William Lout
■ Reserve Grand Champion Medium Lightweight: Caddo Paul Waites
■ Grand Champion Medium Heavyweight: Colby Payne
■ Reserve Grand Champion Medium Heavyweight: Lorenzo Bonham
■ Ag Machine and Equipment: 10-foot bush hog, from Hudson FFA, built by Garrett Jennings, Josh Sander and Taylor Mendoza.
■ Home and Recreation: a pull-type barbecue pit, from Huntington FFA, built by Eric Carver, Tanner Williams, Hardy Frankins and Taylor Burkhalter.
■ Livestock Equipment: a lamb and goat table, from Huntington FFA, built by Madison Gartman.
■ Tractor Restoration: a 1949 Farmall C., from Hudson FFA, built by Eli Jenkins, Reece Maddox and Tristan Mosley.
■ Trailer: a welding trailer, from Huntington FFA, built by Eli Box, Andrew Arnold, Robby Hughes, Matt Wigley and Devan Lout.