ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – It’s nearly impossible to talk about the U.P. State Fair without mentioning the animals. Several members of 906 Livestock are in attendance this week to show their animals.
Javan Hauswirth, age 13, has been working hard for almost the entire year to prepare his 8-month-old goat Cappuccino for the fair.
“We walk them around so then they get used to walking so while you’re in the show ring, they’re not just trying to fight you,” Javan explained. “You also brace them so they get ready to actually show.”
His 19-year-old sister Lillian has done the same, except she has been working with a pig.
“When I got my pig, Shady Lady, she was literally 35 pounds and now she’s 226,” said Lillian. “She just barely made weight but she did. It’s crazy how big they grow.”
Sisters Chloe and Mayce Hanson, ages 19 and 16, showed their steer this week. They say their fair preparation begins before the animals are even born.
“I would say the most challenging thing when we come to competitions is we breed our animals and we don’t buy them,” said Chloe. “It’s really hard going against kids that buy steers and bringing our steers off the farm and just trying to be competitive with that.”
Despite the extra challenge, they received several honors.
“We both got fourth overall,” Chloe said. “She got heavyweight and I got the medium-weight class. Then I got reserve champion for showmanship and I also won [first place in my class] bred and owned.”
While each 906 Livestock member says working with an animal is a major commitment, they say it all pays off during fair week.
“It takes a lot of dedication to take care of these animals and persistence to keep doing it every day,” Chloe said.
“You definitely learn stuff just generally about your animal,” said Javan. “Every year I learn something.”
Lillian says she and other seniors are looking forward to Saturday’s auction, as well as their futures after 906 Livestock.
“There’s going to be kids out there; they need the money for their projects next year,” she said. “I’ll be using my money for college, so I mean all us seniors want to go out with a bang!”
The Jr. Market Livestock Auction will take place at the grandstand on Saturday, August 19, at 11:00 a.m.
WZMQ 19 News is a proud sponsor of the 2023 U.P. State Fair.