BY SUSAN THACKER
For Dylan Ferguson, the hardest thing about bringing last year’s bucket calf back to the county fair in 2017 will be selling that animal today. It’s a lesson many young people learn as they raise market animals as 4-H projects.
The Barton County Fair’s 4-H Beef Show was held Friday at the Aaron’s Repair Arena in Expo III, and Ferguson’s red Angus returning bucket calf won a purple ribbon as grand champion. The Sale of Champions will start at 2:30 today, following the 4-H Showcase Awards at 2.
Friday’s beef show was the final market show of the fair. By the end of they day, entrants let the Barton County Fair officials know if they planned to take their animals to the premium sale.
Beef judge Scott “Bronc” Barrows from Ness City asked the 4-Hers questions about how they cared for the animals and what they’ve learned.
“What did you do with your heifer after the county fair last year?” he asked Colton McPherson before handing him the microphone.
McPherson explained how he tended to his calf every day. Like each entrant, he moved the animal around the ring and attempted to show its best features.
Barrows’ questions were friendly, putting the contestants at ease while he tested their knowledge.
“I wanted to have a little fun with them on the mike,” Barrows said. “It’s one of the great things about 4-H; you learn how to present yourself.”
Ferguson was asked what the most difficult part of the project was, and he said that would be today’s sale.
“I showed him last year as a bucket calf and I worked with him all year,” he said.
Barrows told the audience he sympathized. “The hardest thing is going to be getting rid of that calf.”
It was as easy show to judge, due to the quality of the entries, Barrows said. “There’s not a poor heifer out here in terms of quality.”
Ferguson won another ribbon a few minutes later. His Braunvieh cow was the sole entry in the “all other breeds” category at the beef show, but Barrows said it was “definitely deserving of the purple. (Braunviehs) really have a place in the entry as far as I’m concerned,” he said.
Steele Brack, Eureka Homesteaders 4-H Club, won the reserve grand champion.
Dylan and his sister Sierra Ferguson are in their third year as members of the Busy Buzzers 4-H Club. Sierra’s boar goat won a reserve grand champion earlier in the week.