SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Hard work paid off for 18-year-old Austin Burris of Sherman Saturday evening when his crossbred was selected grand champion of the Illinois State Fair Junior Steer Show.
“I was hoping I wouldn’t mess up,” Burris said. “I was excited to be champion. My dream came true.”
Burris’s 1,316-pound crossbred steer will be sold next Tuesday with other prize-winning junior livestock at the Sale of Champions. The auction begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Livestock Center.
“I want to use the money towards education after high school,” a relieved Burris said. Burris is a member of the Sangamon County Livestock Aggies 4-H Club and the Williamsville FFA Chapter.
Elaine Richardson, 16, of Jacksonville took the Reserve Grand Champion and Land of Lincoln Grand Champion titles. As the Land of Lincoln winner, Richardson’s shorthorn steer, 1,327 pound Lenny, will join Burris’s steer at Tuesday’s sale.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Richardson commented.
A member of the Agristars 4-H Club and Jacksonville FFA Chapter, Richardson has similar plans for her sale money.
“I need to save for college,” she said. “I’d like to go to U of I.”