Down on the Farm at the Fair

Down on the Farm at the Fair
By: Mike Shain

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Whitney Schreckenberg says she'll hate to sell the steer she raised from a newborn calf.
But the Southeast Missouri State student from Whitewater says, "He'll bring good money."
And money is the payoff for 4-H and FFA students showing livestock at the Southeast Missouri District Fair this week.
Whitney, whose family lives in Whitewater, bottle fed the tiny calf that grew to become the hefty beef she brought for judging.  He won a red ribbon.
"Maggie" sported a big blue ribbon.  Blake Leadbetter's heifer won Grand Champion in livestock judging.  He was nervous and excited and so was his prize girl.  "Maggie" also was hungry as we spoke to Blake and not happy about having a camera in her face.  Her diet is a special mixture of corn, molasses, wheat and vitamins.  And it was lunch time.
Whitney's steer will be part of the fair auction this week.  He'll be purchased for slaughter.  Told the next time she might see him is on a restaurant plate, Whitney said, "He'll taste really good." Months of work went in to raising him for ten minutes in the judging ring.
"Maggie" returns to the Leadbetter farm at Millersville for a future of motherhood. 
"I'll breed her to my bull and perhaps bring her baby here next year.  I just hope it turns out as good as she did," Leadbetter said.
Dozens of students came from local schools to enter livestock.  We concentrated on the cattle and met some kind and friendly faces.  "Maggie" seemed to know that she had done something special.