CHHS senior takes top honors at state steer show

Published 10:18 am Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kate Johnson of Troy took Reserve Champion honors at the Alabama Junior Beef Expo at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery March 9-11.

Johnson showed the Reserve Grand Champion Steer and the Reserve Heavy-Weight Steer of the show.

She also showed the Champion Alabama-Bred Heavy-Weight steer.

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Johnson placed second in the state in showmanship.

“Kate is a senior at Charles Henderson High School and this was her last state steer show,” said Grant Lyons, Pike County Extension coordinator. “Kate has had an outstanding career showing calves and we were all excited that she closed out her career in such a great way.”

Lyons said there were many good animals at the state show.

“When you get to the last eight or 10 animals, the competition is very tough,” he said. “Five of the steers could easily have been the Grand Champion. That speaks volumes about Kate’s abilities. She is to be congratulated, as well as all of our Pike County kids who participated.”

Seven Pike County youths participated in the district and state shows and Lyons said he was pleased with their performances.

In the light-weight class, Trent Thomas placed first in the class of steers weighing 1005-1075 pounds, Colton Johnson placed sixth and Matt Barron, seventh.

Josh Graham placed fourth in the Medium-Weight Class.

In the Heavy-Weight Class, Kate Johnson placed second and Jonathan Thomas placed sixth.

In the State Heifer Show, Morgan Graham placed third in her class and Josh Graham placed fourth.

Pike County junior cattlemen placed high in their classifications of showmanship. Trent Thomas, Josh Graham and Morgan Graham placed third in their classifications. Colton Johnson, Jonathan Thomas and Matt Barron placed sixth in their classes.

“They all did a great job preparing their animals and showing them,” Lyons said. “There is a lot of work involved in getting ready for the district and state shows and the competition at those levels is tough. All of our kids did a great job at the show and also got to spend some time with the friends that they have made from around the state through participation in calf shows.”

Lyons said there is more to showing calves than showing calves.

“Showing calves is a family event and it strengthens family relationships and also builds friendships among the competitors,” he said. “So, when young people compete in shows, it’s about more than the outcome of the show.” Lyons said that the young people who compete in the steer and heifer programs benefit in many ways.  “They learn responsibility as they care for their animals,” he said. “They learn the value of teamwork because raising show calves is a family effort. And they gain confidence in their ability to carry a project through and, therefore, become more self-confident individuals.

“The young people who participated in the steer and heifer program this year are to be commended for a job well done. We appreciate them and their families and thank them for all of their hard work and dedication.”

Lyons said anyone who is interested in knowing more about the Pike County Livestock program is invited to attend the next meeting of the 4-H Livestock Club.  “Just swing by the Extension office and pick up the information,” he said. “We’d love for anyone who is interested in livestock to come and see what the club is all about.”