Natalie Flowers

“Where’s the beef?” was a popular ad slogan during the mid-80s, but at the Le Sueur County Fair 4H beef show in Le Center on Thursday evening, much of it was in the hands of Cleveland students.

All told, eight Cleveland 4Hers pitted their cattle against others in categories from spring calf all the way up to market steer.

Second grader Julia Flowers participated as a “Cloverbud,” a practice run for kindergarteners through second graders. Her sisters Natalie Flowers, a sixth grader, and Kaitlyn Flowers, a freshman, also competed with their cattle.

While Natalie is no stranger to a 4H show ring—last year she took home the swine beginner champion  showmanship award—it was her first time exhibiting beef cattle. But in the showmanship competition, where animal and exhibitor work together to impress the judge, she earned another beginner champion ribbon. Katelyn was the reserve champion in intermediate showmanship.

Jack Anderson, an eighth grader, was in his first Le Sueur County Fair beef show. A couple of weeks ago at the Scott County Fair, he showed beef cattle for the first time. He is learning how to keep his calf spaced away from the other competitors and set it up so the judge can see its features.

“I like showing. It makes me a little nervous, but I like being with animals,” he said.

Also guiding cattle around the ring were Samantha Baker, a sophomore, Taylor Wolf, a freshman, and siblings Marshall Heldberg, a freshman, and Jacquelyn Heldberg, a fifth grader.

The same group and others will continue to show animals over the next two days. Today (Friday), the goat show starts at 8:00 a.m. at noon is the poultry show, and at 4:00 p.m. is the lamb and sheep show. The swine show starts at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. Following the pigs, the dairy show starts at 9:30 a.m.

Kaitlyn Flowers was the reserve champion in intermediate showmanship.

Cloverbud Julia Flowers shows off her calf while her helper looks on. 

Samantha Baker leads her simmental yearling. The breed traces its history to the Middle Ages.

Jack Anderson and his seven-month-old shorthorn.

Taylor Wolf tugs on the halter of her angus yearling.

Marshall Heldberg guides his steer calf around the ring.

Jacquelyn Heldberg poses with her dairy steer.