A pair of Grand Champion purple ribbons is going on the wall at Ty Montgomery's house.
Montgomery captured the Grand Champion in the market beef competition at the Pratt County Fair Friday morning then took the Intermediate Showmanship Grand Champion as well.
Also having a good day at the beef judging was Garrett Smith who took market beef Reserve Grand Champion and Senior Showmanship.
For Montgomery it was his first Grand Champion in Beef and he won it with a red angus steer. He chose a red angus because his first heifer was a red angus and he won a Grand Championship with that animal too.
The hard work to get the Grand Champion award started in November 2012 when he got the red angus calf. He worked with the steer every day from 10 to 15 minutes.
Using his show stick he taught the steer the proper way to walk, stand and pose. This gives the calf a good look in the show arena.
As he got closer to fair time he eased off a little on the work schedule so he would be OK at the fair.
He puts the steer in the barn every day and puts fans on him. They have a hard ration and it proved to help the steer be a good weight gainer.
Sometimes his steer is a little lazy but not today. It was the fastest he has walked in five months and it helped him win the championship, Montgomery said.
Montgomery likes showing beef for a very simple reason. It makes him happy.
"I just love to work with cattle. It makes my day," Montgomery said.
The hardest part about showing beef is the when he starts the training process and the steer just wants to run around.
"He just does what he wants to do," Montgomery said. "You have to show him who is boss."
Several families in 4-H help him develop his skills including the Smiths, the McCombs and others. He also gets a lot of advice from the breeder.
Being in 4-H talks a lot of hard work and dedication but the results are worth it.
This Skyline freshman plans on selling his steer at the livestock auction today. He is already planning on entering another red angus next year and hopes for a repeat.
This is Garrett Smith's last stand in the beef ring. This multiple winner through the years has gathered three grand champions and four reserve grand champions as well as some grand champion showmanship awards as well.
Smith is finishing his career in 4-H but might enter a heifer next year. But after 12 years in 4-H and 12 years of showing steers, this is his farewell to market beef competition.
Page 2 of 3 - Smith made is mark this year in the All Other Breeds category with a Maintainer steer. He was looking for a steer on-line and this one fit the bill.
He started working with his calf in November 2012 with a 15-minute workout every day and the rest of the time in the barn under fans. The fans help keep the steer cool and that helps make his hair grow plus it helps him gain weight faster too.
Although he is a 4-H veteran, he gets help and encouragement from the McComb and Montgomery families.
"They are real supportive," Smith said.
Getting to be with 4-H friends is one reason Smith likes being in 4-H. The county fair is one time when all the 4-H clubs come together and he enjoys seeing everyone.
Every job has a down side and getting his steer trained is the hard part of having a beef project. It's difficult to get the steer to the point where they will set where they need to stand.
Even with all the training, his steer didn't want to cooperate this year.
"Awful, he was just awful," Smith said. "He was stubborn and didn't want to set up."
Having a misbehaving steer kept him busy during the show, Smith had to keep his stalls clean so it would keep the steer clean.
Smith is not done with steer. He plans on taking him to the state fair for further competition.
Even with all the challenges, Smith encourages others to get involved with the beef program. It takes a lot of work but each calf has a different personality. If someone is willing to put in the work they will see positive results.
Smith wants to be a nutritionist like his grandfather who makes up the feed rations for his steers.
The winning steers were just what beef Judge Cade Rensink, a banker and cattleman, wanted to see at the fair.
He was looking for good breed characteristics, muscling, dimension and good market weights.
Quality livestock has to have eye appeal and be good looking and he saw that today as well.
He saw that high quality from top to bottom in the heifers, cow-calf pairs and in the steers. He was also impressed with the feeding program.
"This was a very deep fair," Rensink said.
As for Montgomery's grand champion red angus, he said it had a good moderate frame, was well balanced, had good uniformity in its muscle pattern and was fed just right.
"It was fault free in my mind," Rensink said.
Page 3 of 3 - He was also impressed with Smith's Maintainer. It had good deportment, was not heavily muscled and was market ready.
It was a notch under the grand champion but was a close match and that is one thing he was looking for in the beef market program, Rensink said.
He was impressed with the quality of 4-H'ers in the beef program and it showed good character development.
The parents and leaders have obviously worked hard and produced some quality kids, Rensink said.
It takes a lot of help to make the beef judging a success.
The beef superintendents made sure each breed was ready to go on time and were ready to assist if an animal got out of hand, said ring master Bob Schmisseur.