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Bittersweet night at Steer, Heifer show

In his final show as a competitor, Troy’s Cody Johnson collected more than $600 in award money at the 68th annual Pike County Steer and Heifer Show.

With a stellar performance in showmanship that earned a blue ribbon and $55, followed by a showing of the Grand Champion Heifer and the Reserve Champion Steer netting another $325, Johnson was truly a cash-cow.

Another notable achievement was Johnson’s showing of the only Steer native to Pike County farms. Despite formidable opponents, the steer represented local troughs well, winning the Reserve Champion Steer prize under Johnson’s veteran expertise.

Josh Graham of Tennille had his share of glory as well, showing the Grand Champion Steer and earning $200 on top of other winnings, not a bad payoff-especially for a 10-year-old and the youngest of the competitors.

Of course Graham and Johnson put in countless hours to bring the quality of cattle that they did to the corral Saturday, and their colleagues certainly did no different.

Morgan Dubose claimed the Reserve Champion Heifer in another successful showing for the 18-year-old who’s been enjoying success in this pursuit since she was in seventh grade.

But the atmosphere of the Pike County Cattleman Park was one of mixed-emotions as proud spectators and participants said goodbye to Johnson, Dubose and one of the show-coordinators, Tammy Powell.

Johnson and Dubose, with their combined 14 years experience in showing calves, presented Powell with a plaque in appreciation of the work she’s done with them over the years.

Powell surprised the two shortly thereafter with shiny belt buckles to compliment the plethora of trophies and ribbons they’ve earned over the years.

The younger competitors, like Cody’s 15-year-old sister Kate Johnson and 16-year-old Clay Powell all the way down to 11-year-old Colton Johnson and the rest of the kids, respectfully observed knowing it will take much dedication to fill the boots of their friends, predecessors, and mentors who are moving on.