Story & Photos by Robyn Scherer, M.AgR. | Staff Reporter

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September 10, 2012
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Showmanship Champions Crowned at Colorado State Fair


It’s not every day that fair members can watch dignitaries from around the state compete in a steer show. However, at the Colorado State Fair, attendees could do just that. 

The Governor’s Beef Show, which was sponsored by the Colorado Farm Bureau, was held on August 31, at the State Fairgrounds in Pueblo, Colo.

The year’s show featured Governor Hickenlooper, Representative Jerry Sonnenberg, Colorado Farm Bureau President Don Shawcroft, 2009 PRCA Bullfighter of the Year Cory Wall, Pam Simpson-Rose from the Canadian Consult, Miss Rodeo Colorado Cassidy Cabot, and the Dean for Colorado State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences Craig Beyrouty, among others. John Hinners, from the U.S. Meat Export Federation, served as the judge for the show. 

The showmanship champion was Governor John Hickenlooper, who won the title showing a black and white steer. All of the dignitaries were guided by the students who raised the steers, and Hickenlooper’s steer was raised by Sonnenberg’s son, Ryan Sonnenberg. 

Winning a showmanship contest at the Colorado State Fair is a huge honor. Winning three showmanship contests is a rare, exceptional accomplishment. 

For Shelby Teague, 16, this dream became a reality at this year’s fair. Teague, a junior at Wiggins High School, was crowned the champion senior showman in the lamb, goat and swine contests. She also showed the reserve champion goat this year behind Kersey’s Tanner Fetzer. Teague won the title in 2010 and 2007. 

One of the highlights for the fair this year included Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Junior Livestock Sale. The sale raised $479,530 for Colorado’s 4-H and FFA youth, which is over $70,000 more than the 2011 total.

“The Colorado State Fair is honored to host this annual event for Colorado’s 4-H and FFA youth; we provide $340,000 of our annual budget and facilities to these organizations because we believe their hard work and dedication to the agricultural community,” said Wiseman.  “I also want to thank the generous bidders for their financial support of these great kids.”

The top selling animal at the sale was the Grand Champion Market Steer, which sold for $55,000, breaking the old record of $53,500. The steer was shown by Cody Huwa, 14, of Roggen, Colo., who also exhibited the Grand Champion Market Steer at the show last year.  

“I don’t know how to describe it. It’s a really great feeling. Winning it twice felt twice as good as the first time. I accomplished something that is hard to do, and my hard work paid off. He was a really fresh steer and in the last month and a half he really came out,” said Huwa. 

In order to raise the grand champion, he spent his entire summer working with his steer, named Mr. T. He got up at 4 a.m. to feed, and then washed and used a blower to dry his steer three times per day. He worked with him on walking, setting up and general handling. 

“It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to raise one. I have early hours, and a lot of help from my friends and family and people who helped me along the way. My family helped me fit him at the fair,” he said. 

He continued, “I think I like showing cattle because it’s more of a challenge and there is a lot more responsibility. You know you can do it. I’ve been showing them my whole life, and I just like steers a lot.”

Huwa started showing cattle when he was just 8-years-old, and has shown cattle all over the country since that time. He family owns Huwa Cattle Company, and when he started showing they had just 20 cows. Now the family has 400 cows, and raises club calves. 

An eight-grader at Weld Central Middle School, Huwa already has plans for his earnings from his steers the last two years. “I plan on saving some of it for college, but I also want to give some of it back into the community in some kind of way,” he said. 

The second highest selling animal belonged to Jaime Beach, who exhibited the grand champion market hog, and sold for $26,000. The reserve champion market hog, owned by Brooke Stromberger of Iliff, was the third highest seller. Her hog sold for $20,000.

The Reserve Champion Market Steer was the second highest selling animal, and he earned his exhibitor Colton Lind of Eaton $19,500. A total of 138 animals were sold during the livestock sale. 

There are also many competitions at the fair that do not involve livestock. The state fair general entry department received more than 8,000 entries in a variety of categories including fine arts, canning, quilts, crops, and cooking.

The Colorado State Fair was held from August 23-September 3 at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo, Colo. This year marked the fair’s 140th year as Colorado’s premier celebration of agriculture. The fairgrounds provides nearly $34 million in economic activity to Colorado throughout the year; $29 million of that activity is driven by the annual State Fair event.  

“While the Colorado State Fair showcases carnivals, concerts and vendors, its foundation stems from Colorado’s vast agricultural community,” said State Fair General Manager, Chris Wiseman. “The fair strives to help ensure a strong agricultural future by emphasizing its importance to today’s youth.  I appreciate the hard work and dedication of those who participated in this year’s event.”

During the 11-day event, guests are treated to a wide variety of activities and events, including livestock shows, specialty acts, rodeos, concerts and more. 

“Our goal is to treat our guests with exciting, new events every year,” said State Fair General Manager, Chris Wiseman.  “The Colorado State Fair transforms to provide a fresh experience, no matter how many times you walk through our gates.”

The fair also hosted the Cowboys Kickin’ Cancer Fundraiser. Funds raised help patients in their fight against cancer. This year, the generosity of State Fair patrons helped to raise $43,000 for the St. Mary Corwin Cancer Center’s Patient Needs Fund. In the past three years, $121,000 has been raised during the event.

Nearly 70,000 people enjoyed the Colorado State Fair entertainment series consisting of Merle Haggard, Steve Miller Band, Thompson Square, Kenny Loggins, Chris Young, and five nights of PRCA Ram rodeo.

Attendance was counted at 474,915 people, which is lower than last year’s number. 

“There are a number of factors that may have contributed to lower attendance, including local school events and the economy but attendance is just one way we measure success. The Colorado State Fair also provides educational opportunities to the people of Colorado, supports 4-H and FFA youth, and contributes to the state economy,” said Wiseman. ❖

“We still run things on good old fashioned customer service. A lot of the reason why we can compete with bigger feed stores is because we treat people how they want to be treated, and they come back because of that.”
~ Danielle Nater, daughter of Dennis Nater, owner and operator of Northern Colorado Feeder’s Supply




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The Fence Post Updated Sep 10, 2012 04:10AM Published Feb 20, 2013 09:31PM Copyright 2013 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.