Friday, October 31, 2014


The Beer family with Treg's steer, Blue Moon. (Left to Right: Amy, Treg, Jeff, Liz and Jessica). Treg and Liz competed this year. Jessica was previously a 4-H member and came home from college to help her family with fair week and for an internship this summer. (Emily Taylor/Elkhart Truth)

Liz Beer, left, competes during the 2014 Large Animal Round Robin Showmanship cometition Thursday at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair in Goshen. (Sarah Welliver/The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Treg Beer of Milford won Grand Champion at the Open Steer show with his cross-bred steer at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair on Saturday afternoon, July 19, 2014. (James Buck / Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Liz Beer hugs her brother Treg Beer after she took the grand champion prize for her charolais steer in the showmanship competition Monday night at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair in Goshen. Treg was awarded third place in the competition. (Sarah Welliver/The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Liz Beer holding her Grand Champion steer and hugging Reserve Grand Champion Nicole Flickinger (Emily Taylor/Elkhart Truth)
Beer family takes over 15 champion titles at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair

Posted on July 26, 2014 at 1:38 p.m.

GOSHEN — Dave Guyer paced around the ring of the Beef Barn on Monday night, July 21, toying with his decision over who would be named Grand Champion Steer.

He paced up and down. Eventually he walked over to shake Elizabeth “Liz” Beer’s hand. She collapsed into her hands, crying with joy. 

“I can't even wrap my head around it,” said Liz laughing and wiping her eyes. “My family has been behind me 100 percent, and I couldn't do it without them.”

Guyer, a show judge, has sold show cattle for 25 years and shown or judged in every state. 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 looking over at the Beer family, all hugging one another teary-eyed. “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.”

The 2014 4-H Fair has been a monumental one for the Beer family. Liz and her brother Treg have been working hard all week and carrying on a family tradition. Their parents, Jeff and Amy Beer, were both 10-year 4-H members. Amy’s father, Fred Squires, was an avid cattle farmer. He passed away earlier this year.

Squires is the reason why the Beers have adamantly pursued livestock as careers and a way of life.

Amy is the agriculture teacher at NorthWood High School, where 16-year-old Liz is a junior. She also plays volleyball for the Panthers. Treg just graduated from NorthWood and plans to study agricultural engineering at Purdue University in the fall. Liz plans to attend school out west and pursue livestock judging with her older sister, Jessica.

“Sustainable agriculture is a major part of our lives,” said Amy.

The three Beer children have been involved in 4-H for as long as they can remember and in a cattle barns long before that. The first cattle they showed at a fair belonged to their grandfather. This week both Liz and Treg said that this fair and their success was dedicated to him. 

“4-H has brought our family together,” said Liz. “It has taught everybody how to work hard and work together as a team. It has taught us to enjoy what we have in life. You never know what is going to happen tomorrow.”

“One thing that made it special was that it wasn’t just one kid that won everything,” said Treg. “We all shared in the success, and we all won something. It was a great family experience.”

The Beers have one plan of attack when it comes to preparing for the fair — divide and conquer. When it comes to caring for the animals and getting them “market ready” it is all hands on deck, when one person is busy another will pick up the slack. 

Liz, for example, spent a week with National Junior Heifers, taking her away from the animals and preparation work. While she was gone her siblings and family stepped up to help. The collective efforts like this made all of the difference for both Treg and Liz. 

“Everyone pitches in together,” said Amy.

“And everybody enjoys it so much,” said Treg. 

To the Beer family, agriculture is everything, and 4-H and time together is what keeps them going. The family goes beyond the three kids, Amy and Jeff. Their animals are kept at Jeff’s parents’ house, which allows for the Beer children to see their grandparents every day when they work with the animals. The aunts and uncles and extended family all come out to support the Beer kids during show week, and Treg and Amy attested their family’s success to their “4-H family” as well. 

Amy and Treg also noted that the community support they see for the Elkhart fair is unlike anything else. 

“Even when the RV industry was down and Elkhart was in its dumps, this fair didn’t slow down just because the area around it did,” said Treg. “The community pours their heart and soul into this fair. It is incredible to see how everyone teams together for this one week.”

According to Amy even the auction sales after the fair shows are an investment in the kids’ future.

“In the 10 years I have been in Beef Club I have never seen a steer not sell at this fair,” said Treg. 

The family effort and community support have made 4-H an integral part of the Beer’s life. 

List of the awards won by Treg and Liz Beer during the 2014 Elkhart County 4-H Fair. 

Treg Beer

Beef Open Show

  • Champion Crossbred Steer
  • Grand Champion Steer

4-H Beef Show

  • Champion Crossbred Steer
  • 3rd place Steer Overall

Hog 4-H Show

  • Reserve Grand Champion York Barrow

Open Hog Show

  • Reserve Grand Champion York Barrow

 

Liz Beer 

Beef Open Show

  • Champion Senior Showmanship for beef
  • Grand Champion Angus Heifer
  • 3rd place Heifer Overall
  • Reserve Champion Charolais Steer

4-H Beef Show

  • Champion Charolais Steer
  • Grand Champion Steer Overall
  • Grand Champion Heifer Overall

Hog 4-H Show

  • Grand Champion Spot Barrow

Open Hog Show

  • Champion Spot Barrow
  • Grand Champion Overall Barrow

Sheep Show

  • Champion Crossbred Breeding Stock Yew

Round Robin

  • Supreme Overall Showman