Liz Beer of Milford took the Grand Champion prize for both the heifer and steer 4-H showmanship competitions on Monday, July 21.
Judge Dave Guyer oversaw the competition. Guyer has sold show cattle for 25 years and shown or judged in every state. According to him it was a close call. To Guyer the Reserve Grand Champion, taken by Nicole Flickinger, was a better design, and the runner up was more powerful. The runner up was taken by Liz’s brother Treg Beer. Treg’s steer won Grand Reserve on Saturday during the 41st Annual Northern Classic Open Beef Show on Saturday, July 19.
Guyer was not only impressed with Beer’s cattle, he was also taken aback by the Elkhart County fair as a whole.
"There is something that stands out about this place,” said Guyer. “There is more heart in this county than I think I have seen in any county fair. I saw it when we first got here today and now that the show is over it is definitely huge.”
For Beer it was heart and soul that was poured into her work. With the announcement of Grand Champion for heifer and steer, Beer couldn't hold back tears of joy.
"I can't even wrap my head around it,” said Beer laughing and wiping her eyes. “My family has been behind me 100 percent, and I couldn't do it without them.”
Beer was delighted earlier in the day to hear her name called for Grand Champion in the heifer competition. Beer thought the difference came from a few bits of hard work like chaining the feed, rinsing and working the hair. Beer is a 16-year-old Junior at NorthWood High School, where her mother Amy Beer also teaches agriculture.
"This is something I have worked my whole summer for,” said Beer about her heifer, Roxy. “Today was her day. We are a team. She is my baby girl and we had our goal and conquered it.”
"I didn't expect it at all,” said Beer. “A week ago I didn't think [my steer] would be where he is now.”
"That [steer] that won was so cool,” said Guyer. “When she came back in for the champion drive I thought he was better then than he was when I saw him earlier in the day. He was the most complete one of everything standing out there.”