Youth of all ages scurried around the three 4-H and FFA livestock barns at the Jefferson City Jaycees Fairgrounds, bathing and brushing their steers for the market beef show Monday morning.
Toni Haselhorst, a Helias Catholic High School junior and member of the Taos Clovers 4-H Club and Nichols Career Center FFA, was one of the many busy bodies.
Haselhorst arrived at the fairgrounds with her family around 10 a.m. to prepare her steer, Luke, for the show, which began at 12:30 p.m.
Haselhorst said she chose Luke last summer and prepared him for Monday's show over the last year — feeding him half a bucket of feed daily until March, when she began to feed him a full bucket to "beef" him up for the fair.
This was Haselhorst's second year showing a steer. While the care and preparation leading up to the fair may be strenuous, she said she enjoys the process showing environment.
"A rewarding part (of showing steer) is doing good in your class after you've fed and worked with him and you think they're a nice looking animal and the show ring will tell you that," Haselhorst said.
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Haselhorst and Luke took third place out of seven competitors in the third class, with steer weights ranging from 1,130-1,160 pounds.
"I feel that (Luke) could have done better, but I'm not complaining because that's better than my steer did last year, and it was the top half of the class," Haselhorst said. "Especially since it is only my second year, I am proud of that."
Outside of showing steer, Haselhorst has been involved in many other projects during her 10 years in 4-H, including cake decorating, arts and crafts, sewing and shooting sports.
Last June, Haselhorst traveled to Grand Island, Nebraska, where she represented Missouri in the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championship.
"It was so much fun. The car ride was not fun though," Haselhorst said with a laugh. "The experience of meeting everybody, waking up and shooting for the next three or four days, going to the awards ceremony and cheering for Missouri is amazing."
The shooting sports project includes nine disciplines, such as archery, shotgun, muzzleloader, and western heritage and cowboy shooting, according to the University of Missouri Extension 4-H shoot sports webpage.
Haselhorst participates in muzzleloader, smallbore rifle and hunting skills.
As a young woman showing livestock and participating in projects such as shooting sports, Haselhorst said she frequently feels empowered, as many of her female peers cannot relate to her lifestyle of being raised on a farm — operating farming machinery and taking care of animals year-round.
"I've gained a lot of responsibility and learned about how to set my priorities through 4-H and FFA," Haselhorst said.
Enjoyed this feature? Check out other Faces of the Fair: Eileen Shafer, Jessica Koenigsfeld, Taylor Riley, Madisyn Suess and Garrett Holtgrewe. The News Tribune will feature a new person every day during the Jefferson City Jaycees Cole County Fair, so watch for more faces!