Preparing for the Huntingdon Fair

Last year at the Huntingdon County Fair, William Nichols of Tyrone captured Grand Champion of the Junior Beef Show. Thinking back to last year,” I thought I might have a chance,” Nichols said. “It certainly caught me off guard.” Nichols is now into final preparation with his 4-H project; with the fair less than three weeks away.
Nichols received his steer last October. He took him to the county weigh-in day in December. At that time the steers are tagged for identification. Everyday Nichols and his older brother, John work with their steers. Nichols feeds him 10 pounds of grain twice a day with water available at all times.
Every night they wash or hose them down and brush them. They take them for a walk while it’s cool. Walking helps build up their muscles. They let them out overnight and put them in the barn during the day with a fan on them. They want them to gain weight and grow hair.
“We want them to grow hair to actually make him look bigger,” said Nichols. Other things they do are trim his feet and get him checked by the vet; he will then issue a health chart. At fair time his steer will be over 1,300 pounds and close in size to his steer from a year ago.
Will started 4-H at age eight and this is his fifth year at the fair. Last year was the first time he had the grand champion.
Nichols enjoys getting his steer ready for the fair.
“I get to see my friends, show my steer and have a lot of fun,” Nichols said. When asked about this years steer, “He’s a bit different, he’s a character. He would walk in the house if you let him. He’s big and friendly. His name is Earl. He also has the longest tongue I’ve ever seen on a cow!”
Will has already taken Earl to a show.Two weeks ago he took him to Milwaukee, Wi. to the National Junior Angus Show. At that show he placed 7th.
Nichols participated in the Extemporaneous Speech Contest. In that contest he gets to choose from three different topics. He chose What Programs has the American Angus Association implemented to make Angus the number one Beef Breed. He had 30 minutes to prepare his speech and it had to be between two and six minutes in length. Will placed second in the national contest. His quiz bowl team placed ninth and they won first place in herdsmanship.
Wisconsin wasn’t the furthest Will and his brother John have traveled with their steers; last year the National show was in Colorado. Next year the Eastern Regionals are in Lewisburg, WV and Nationals are in Louisville, KY.
“I’m looking forward to both of those shows,” Nichols stated.
Next on his agenda is the Huntingdon County fair. On Saturday before the fair starts,his steer will get weighed and assigned his class. He will most likely show in the heavyweight class like last year’s steer. It doesn’t matter wether he wins or not at the fair because the experiences along the way are skills that will last a lifetime!