YORK, Pa. — For Lacey Walker, this year’s York Fair was not just the end of the road with her dairy steer. It marked the end of her junior showing career.
Walker, a 19-year-old Penn State student from Glen Rock, spent 10 years in the York County 4-H Dairy Beef Club, watching it grow from eight members to 20.
But the most immediate change at the Sept. 14 livestock sale was to sell Waylon, her Holstein dairy beef.
Waylon was something of a character. He liked to lounge, taking up three stall spaces, and his pet peeve was people touching his head.
“He’s the biggest diva,” Walker said.
Walker bought the steer back in January from a dairy farm in Maryland. She raised him with her family’s 40-plus dairy feeders, where he shared their ration — a corn and protein mix from a self-feeder.
Waylon wasn’t just a face in the herd, though. Walker took him for walks every day, washed him with Persil laundry detergent, and clipped him for the show.
The primping for dairy beef isn’t as extensive as for other show cattle, which might be one reason the club is growing.
“We are not training the hair like beef projects,” said Sandy Zeigler, the dairy beef club leader.
Members generally get their project animals between November to February. Youths who buy Jerseys are encouraged to get their calves even earlier to give them more time to grow and be competitive with the larger Holsteins.
Though the modest amount of show prep makes dairy steers accessible to beginning 4-H’ers, many members, like Walker, stay with the club long term.
“Once families join, they stay here,” Zeigler said.
It wasn’t just the dairy beef exhibitors who were parting with their animals at the sale.
“Today is going to be sad,” said Clay Myers, 16, who showed the grand champion and reserve grand champion market hogs.
Myers, of Wellsville, knows this is the cycle of life for his 4-H livestock projects, and he no longer cries after the sale, as he did when he was a beginner.
Myers started showing sheep with his older sister, Kayce, but four years ago, a family friend got him interested into showing swine.
Myers, who now shows both species, said the pigs are easier to deal with and have big personalities.
This year’s pigs — Two Eye Jack, Jay-Z and Mary Jane — were friendly and liked being around him. They enjoyed the routine of walking, feeding and washing he established for them.
“They always knew when it was bath time,” he said.
Training them to walk straight with their heads held high was a key part of the show prep. The pigs got animal crackers for good behavior.
Myers plans to use the $3,250 he earned from selling his two champions to cover his costs for the project, add to his college fund and get next year’s animals.
Myers will have to change when he buys his pigs, though.
The York Fair is bidding farewell to its customary early-September slot next year and moving to July. It will also be renamed the York State Fair.
Following are the results of the 2019 York Fair sale of champions.
Supreme Champion and Grand Champion Market Steer
Exhibitor: Kolton Grim of Thomasville
Buyers: Dean and Mark Bentzel of Lincoln Highway Cattle Equipment, Greg Saubel of Saubel’s Market, Scott Wagner of Penn Waste Inc., Greg McGrew of Bobcat of York and Eric Zeigler of Elizabeth Zeigler Insurance
Grand Champion Dairy Feeder
Exhibitor: Levi Stermer of East Berlin
Buyers: Cold Spring Farm and Pet, Tim Fetrow Services, Kevin and Robin of Shady Dell Farm, Anderson Brothers Logging, Mike Stermer of Stermer Auction Service, Jerry Stermer of Stermer’s Custom Butchering, and Brad and Michelle Boyer of Don Boyer and Sons.
Grand Champion Market Hog
Exhibitor: Clay Myers of Wellsville
Buyers: Cold Spring Farm and Pet, Greg Saubel of Saubel’s Market and Homer Myers of Edwin L. Heim Co.
Grand Champion Goat
Exhibitor: Lacey Walker of Glen Rock
Buyers: Cold Spring Farm and Pet, Miller and Miller Partnership, Greg McGrew of McGrew Enterprises, and Brad and Michelle Boyer of Don Boyer and Sons.
Grand Champion Lamb
Exhibitor: Olivia Waggoner of East Berlin
Buyers: Cold Spring Farm and Pet, Daryl Alger of Triple A Farms, Sue Beshore of Morrissey Insurance, Greg McGrew of Bobcat of York, and Fred Miller of York Concrete.
Grand Champion Meat Rabbit
Exhibitor: Macie Rodgers
Buyers: Cold Spring Farm and Pet, Seth Peters of Peters Professional Lawncare, Semper Fitness 24/7, Kellie Harrison’s Kenpo Karate, Fred Miller of York Concrete, and Carrie Rutledge of MBF Southdowns.
Grand Champion Turkey
Exhibitor: Owen Griffith
Buyers: Cold Spring Farm and Pet, Greg McGrew of Bobcat of York and McGrew Enterprises, and Ray Rodgers of Praises 4 Him Farm.
Grand Champion Chicken
Exhibitor: Laura Bowser
Buyer: Don Bricker of Bricker’s French Fries
Reserve Grand Champion Dairy Feeder
Exhibitor: Owen Beshore of York
Buyers: Cold Spring Farm and Pet, Tim Fetrow Services, Steve Perko of Blockhouse, Brad and Michelle Boyer of Don Boyer and Sons, Ray Rodgers of Praises 4 Him Farm.
Reserve Champion Market Swine
Clay Myers of Wellsville
Buyers: Cold Spring Farm and Pet, Homer Myers of Edwin L. Heim Co., and Nathan Hoover of Fulton Bank.
Reserve Grand Champion Goat
Exhibitor: Colton Young of East Berlin
Buyers: Craig and Christine Campbell of Hoss’s Steak and Sea House, Henry Holloway of The Mill, Ed Kenny of BEST Mechanical Services, Terry J. Shetron of Shetron Auction and Equipment, Franklin Lecrone and Deborah McMillan of AquaPhoenix Scientific.
Reserve Champion Steer
Exhibitor: Samuel Parr of East Berlin
Buyers: Cold Spring Farm and Pet, Greg McGrew of Bobcat of York, Ron Fetrow of Growmark FS, Dwight Nell Custom Butchering, Brain Gross of Transply Inc., Lease’s Auto Body and Paint Specialists, Fred Miller of York Concrete, and Kyle Grim of Beaver Creek Angus.
Reserve Grand Champion Lamb
Exhibitor: Chloe Stonesifer of Lewisberry
Buyers: Cold Spring Farm and Pet, Melissa Stonesifer of M and C Ranch, Fred Miller of York Concrete, Joan Barrett and Lance Beard of Beard’s Towing.
Reserve Champion Rabbit
Exhibitor: Jenna Myers
Buyers: Cold Spring Farm and Pet, Livingston Farm, Donald Yorlets of Circle Y Vet Services, Keystone Embryo Services, Lessiter’s Lawn Care, Gabe Zepp of County Acres Farm, Godfrey Brothers Meats, Dennis Adams of Outfront Cattle Services, Moyers Chicks, Innerst Farms, Dehoff Farm, and Todd Bolton Variety Attractions.
Reserve Champion Turkey
Exhibitor: Michael Crane
Buyers: Todd Bolton of Variety Attractions
Reserve Champion Chicken
Exhibitor: Wyatt Baker
Buyers: York County Poultry Fanciers
Final Bidder: Joan Barrett
Price (including buybacks): $3,576.94
Proceeds Go To: Livestock sale expenses, the county’s 4-H livestock team trip to a contest in Nebraska, and Midwestern farmers affected by floods.