Larkspur, Colo., siblings sweep market beef steer top awards and set auction records at the 2021 Douglas County Fair
for The Fence Post
Winning the Grand Champion Market Beef Steer title is a coveted prize at any county fair and 15-year-old Job Knight of Larkspur, Colo., was honored to earn the award at the 2021 Douglas County Fair in Castle Rock, Colo. What made it even better was the fact his 9-year-old brother Silas McQuate joined in on the action to win the Reserve Grand Champion Market Beef title. Those achievements alone would make a pretty exciting county fair in any family’s book.
But the brothers weren’t done.
On top of sweeping the prestigious grand champion and reserve titles with their Maine Angus cross steers, older brother Knight earned the Reserve Senior Showmanship title and kid brother McQuate picked up a coveted buckle as Junior Showmanship Champion.
They still weren’t finished with the family magic.
RECORD WINNING BIDS
Saving the best for last, the duo each received record-setting bids in their categories during the Friday, Aug. 6 Junior Livestock Sale, which also broke records for its total of over $600,000 in 2021. With official figures from the fair not yet tallied and released, the unofficial record-setting winning bid for Knight’s Grand Champion Market Beef Steer was $31,000 and McQuate’s unofficial record bid received for his Reserve Grand Champion Market Beef Steer was $21,000.
Asked his thoughts on hearing the bids rocket higher while he was inside the sale arena, Knight’s answers showed he remained stunned two days after it was all complete.
“I didn’t even know what to do,” Knight said with a big smile. “I about started crying,” he revealed with a laugh.
At right around 18 months old and weighing in at 1,343 pounds, “Diesel” made a big impression at the 2021 fair and on Knight.
“We got him when he was around 7 months old,” said Knight, whose family purchased the pair of steers from John Hinners of Hinners Show Cattle. “He is one of the best steers I have had. He was really smart and he gave me a run for my money some days, (but) I really liked his personality.”
Parents Seth and Jenn McQuate were also amazed while the auction was hitting record numbers with Job in the ring.
“I was in the barn helping (Silas) who had the Reserve, but I could hear it over the PA system and I couldn’t believe how well it was going,” the proud dad said. “I had people go by me saying, ‘Do you hear this? Do you hear this? This is a new record!’ Everybody was so excited for the family and it was neat to see the other 4H kids be excited for Job.”
The excitement continued when 9-year-old Silas had his turn in the sale ring. With the Reserve Grand Champion “Superman” in tow, the younger brother also received a record setting high bid of $21,000.
“I was real happy,” said the young McQuate with a bright smile. “It feels good. I like showing steers the best. You get to go against people. It is really hard sometimes, but it is really fun.”
Asked his favorite part of the fair, he didn’t have to think about it long.
“Getting the belt buckle,” he answered as he pointed to a silver and gold Junior Beef Showman Champion buckle he was sporting with his blue jeans and paisley button down shirt.
“It is unreal,” said happy mom Jenn about the prize winning and record breaking honors her sons picked up at the 2021 Douglas County Fair. “It is a once in a lifetime, really.”
NO EASY TASK
That once in a lifetime experience was preceded by plenty of sweat and labor.
“These boys woke up at 5 in the morning for the last 100 days,” she said about their efforts behind the scenes. “There wasn’t a day they missed. They have given (their steers) over 200 baths, fed them over 5,000 pounds of feed. They put in the hard work and they really earned it.”
Hearing about the family’s excitement and the work ethic of Job and Silas paying off in record-setting bids was something Douglas County Fair officials appreciated.
“These kids learn the value of hard work (and) they learn how to make money,” said Mark Moore, president of the Douglas County Fair Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that, among many other fiscal duties, receives the sale funds from bidders and distributes them to the young people who take part in the Junior Livestock Auction.
“It is great, because you see the value,” added Moore about why individuals and companies show up to bid on the animals. “You see that kid the next year or they come back as ambassadors or as alumni. You know it is an investment in our future. That is exactly what it is, it is an investment in our future, because I like to eat and we need to have kids engaged in ag to sustain it. They may not be raising livestock, but they may go into some other ag industry. They are going to be citizens that contribute to our country.”
If Job Knight, Silas McQuate, and the rest of their family are any indication of our future leaders, rural America should be in good hands.
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