4-H Fair: Cattle Competition Kicks off with Tribute to Local Farmer

The event has been renamed the Tommy Dell Memorial Dairy Steer Show.

Both Beef and Dairy Steer Showmanship contests were held on Thursday, Aug. 4 at the Carroll County 4-H and FFA Fair

The event kicked off with a moment of silence for Tommy Dell, a local farmer who died in a farming accident last year. Dell grew up attending and participating in the 4-H Fair. The event has been renamed The Tommy Dell Memorial Dairy Steer Show in honor of Dell.

Following the moment of silence and dedication to Dell, the competition got under way.

During showmanship, exhibitors compete against others of the same age on their ability to present their animal.

Though the two contests may appear similar to the untrained eye, there are a number of differences in what the exhibitor must do in order to succeed.

According to the rules and regulations, beef exhibitors must wear a white shirt and green or khaki trousers. Dairy exhibitors, however, must wear a white shirt and white trousers.

In showmanship classes, the judge looks at how an exhibitor places the steer's feet and has him "set-up". Beef exhibitors are able to use a show stick to help them reach the hooves and do this, dairy exhibitors are not. Additionally, beef exhibitors carry a scotch comb in their back pockets while showing to smooth down hair that goes out of place when the judge touches the steer and dairy exhibitors do not.

Beef exhibitors walk their steers using a show halter, as do dairy exhibitors. The difference is, dairy exhibitors walk backwards in front of their steer.

Number of Classes
In beef showmanship, all exhibitors compete against others of the same age. They are also split up into a senior, intermediate and junior division. A champion is selected from each of the three groups and then a grand champion is chosen from those three exhibitors.

For dairy showmanship, exhibitors ages 14 to 18 compete against one another in a senior class and exhibitors ages eight to 13 compete against one another in a junior class. A grand champion is then chosen from the winner of those classes and exhibitors who have won champion in previous years, according to the dairy steer catalogue. 

For more fun at the fair check out these events


  • Dairy Goat Show -- 9 a.m.
  • Pit Beef & Pork Dinner -- 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Livestock Sale -- 5:30 p.m.
  • Iron Ridge Blue Grass Band -- 7 p.m.
  • 1st Annual Vintage Grain Truck Racing -- 8 p.m.
  • Silent Auction Closed -- 8 p.m.


  • Opening Band: Jay Henley & The Stone Broke Band -- 7 p.m.
  • Brantley Gilbert -- 8 p.m.


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