Devon Gaines went to the front of the championship line several times with his Shorthorn steer, named Shorty, last week during the Marion County Fair. And even though he won several awards, what he enjoyed most was the mellow personality of his project.
“He’s always been a real tame calf,” Devon said. “I’ve been working with him all summer, putting him under fans, letting my little brother play around him, and just leading him around every day. He’s never caused any problems.”
Devon lives on Meadowlark Road, rural Peabody, and participates in several projects through his club, the Peabody Achievers.
“This year I was in swine, cooking, photography, and beef,” he said. “Beef is my favorite though.”
Devon said he fed Shorty a commercial grain mix and free choice brome and prairie hay. He purchased the steer from a farm in Nebraska early this spring. Shorty was born in January 2011. At the Marion County fair weigh-in on July 31, Shorty weighed 1,256 pounds.
Together, Devon and Shorty claimed Grand Champion Shorthorn honors and competed in the beef grand drive. In showmanship, Devon was Champion Intermediate Showman, which qualified him for round robin showmanship competition on Saturday morning.
He placed seventh in the round robin competition.
At the close of the fair Friday, Gaines sold Shorty to the highest bidder at the 4-H Livestock Auction.
“It’s kind of hard to let them go when you are little,” he said. “But as you get older, you know it is part of the whole plan. I’ll try to get another good one next year.”
Devon, who is in his fifth year of the 4-H beef project, said his family raises cattle and keeps 4-H show heifers to raise their own stock. Project steers they sell or butcher at the end of the summer.