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Connellsville grad wins 1st blue ribbon for lightweight

| Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 2:06 a.m.
Lori C. Padilla | for the Daily Courier
Jerry Steyer, a 2012 graduate of Connellsville Senior High School, shows off Junior, also known as J.R., his red-and-white Hereford steer who captured a blue ribbon in the lightweight market steer competition at the Fayette County Fair.

Jerry Steyer was all smiles when his red-and-white Hereford steer named Junior (better known as “J.R.”) won the first blue ribbon in the Market Steer competition at the Fayette County Fair.

“He's a very good steer. I really like his personality and the way he shows,” said 19-year-old Steyer, a 2012 graduate of Connellsville Senior High School.

“This is actually the first time one of my steers won a blue ribbon,” he said. “I'm really happy about it. I've been raising steers for five years. I really enjoy it.”

Steyer said the 1,050-pound steer was raised on the Rainfall Mountain Hereford Farm of Mill Run, which is owned by his grandfather, Ray Steyer.

“I'm at my grandfather's farm all of the time helping him to take care of the animals,” said Steyer, who works as an auto mechanic in Confluence.

Steyer and J.R. won the first blue ribbon in the lightweight 1 competition. Steyer was followed by Bailey Keffer in second place and Toni Marie DeCarlo in third place.

Before the competition began, Linda Rooker, 4-H Beef Club leader, said 72 market steers would be participating in the competition.

“The 4-H youth will be showing their steers tonight,” Rooker said. “The kids raise the steers for meat, and they are sold on Friday night (tonight) in the 4-H auction.”

Rooker explained that the steers would be judged on structure, soundness and appearance.

“Part of the competition is based on showmanship and how the 4-H members show off their animals,” she said.

Rooker said the competition featured 12 different weight classes, ranging from 1,015 to 1,060 pounds for lightweight steers up to 1,365 for heavyweight classes.

“The champions will bring more money in the auction,” she said. “The 4-H kids send letters to local businesses inviting them to attend the sale.”

Cindy Ekas is a contributing writer.

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