Every year, youth beef exhibitors between the ages of 12 and 19 travel to West Allis, Wisconsin, for the Wisconsin State Fair junior beef show. With cattle, tack, and four days of luggage in tow, they arrive at the fairgrounds early on a Monday morning in August and wait on the Milwaukee Mile racetrack in a line full of livestock trailers. When they receive a green light to head up to the barns and unload their trailers, the fun begins. It's steer and heifer shows. It's late nights and early mornings in the Tommy G. Thompson Youth Center. It's showmanship. It's laughter and lots of fair food. It's over a year of washing, clipping, halter breaking, feeding and preparation.
For Wisconsin State Fair youth beef exhibitors, the state fair isn't just corn dogs and ferris wheels. It's a passion for beef cattle and months of hard work and dedication coming together for one show.
"I love raising and showing beef cattle because there are so many various opportunities. I learned how to work hard about something you love."
"You get to meet a lot of new people that you get to become friends with and hopefully stay friends with for a long time."
"I learned that hard work pays off. If you put a lot of hard work into it, you'll get good results."
"I think (raising and showing beef cattle) just teaches you a lot of life lessons - that's what I love about it."
Check out the video below to learn more about these junior beef exhibitors, and why they love raising and showing beef cattle. They share about the cattle they exhibited at the 2019 Wisconsin State Fair, how they placed, their favorite state fair memories, and much more. These beef exhibitors represent the next generation of beef farmers in Wisconsin - and the future is certainly bright!