DeVries wins reserve champion 4-H market steer at Iowa State Fair
Last week was a very exciting and memorable one for Lainey DeVries of Red Oak. DeVries, the daughter of Dave and Tammy DeVries and a senior at Red Oak High School, exhibited the reserve grand champion 4-H market steer at the Iowa State Fair.
At the state fair, DeVries’ steer weighed 1349 and was shown in the Charolais division, where she first won the class of six steers, followed by the Charolais division. This allowed her to compete in the championship show.
“When we left home, we felt that he was in a position to do well, but the state of Iowa is known to have a very competitive steer show,” Lainey recalled. “We were hoping for the best, but I knew it would be tough.”
Even after the judge selected the grand champion, she said she still felt confident in her steer.
“I knew he was special, as I had been competitive with the champion steer all year,” she said.
Having a steer selected as reserve grand champion at a state fair is an experience most exhibitors don’t get to experience. DeVries said she fully understands its rarity and said it’s something she’ll remember forever. She added it’s going to be extremely tough to place that high, or higher, next year.
“This has been an unforgettable experience, but next year’s goal might have to be just a little bit higher.”
At the state fair, grand and reserve champions of each species participated in the sale of champions, another rare and overly memorable experience.
“The sale of champions was exhilarating as it was something that I had never experienced before,” said DeVries. “Bringing my steer onto the purple shavings of the sale ring was an experience I will never forget. My steer sold for $65,500 to Fareway.”
DeVries, a member of the Stennett Panthers 4-H Club, has been showing cattle for nine years. She has exhibited cattle at the Iowa State Fair for seven years.
She said her favorite part about showing cattle is the competitiveness and all of the people she has been able to meet through the industry. “Something that most people don’t know about showing cattle is the discipline it takes to prepare these animals for show. It takes lots early mornings and late nights and hours of brushing, washing, rinsing, feeding, and showmanship practice,” she said.
Leading up to state fair, DeVries said her daily routine with her steer included bringing him steer into the barn before sun-up, rinsing him and brushing him to train and grow his hair. She also had to rinse and brush his hair again in the afternoon before turning him outside after sundown.
DeVries steer was purchased in October 2021 from Ty Webster with Webster Cattle Company in Powersville, Mo.