SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- A succession of wins, first for his class and then for his division, at the Illinois State Fair Junior Meat Goat Show brought Dylan Hummel and his wether, Kelly, into the Grand Champion drive.
“I was just hoping I had him looking good,” the 12-year-old Hummel said as he waited for the judge to choose a winner.
As the judge shook Hummel’s hand, selecting him as grand champion, cheers erupted in the show ring.
“I was so happy and so excited,” Hummel said. He was soon surrounded by family and friends, including his brother and two sisters that also show livestock.
Hummel, of Cabery, is a member of the County South Beef 4-H and has been showing for two years. His wether will be sold in Tuesday’s Sale of Champions, an auction of prize-winning junior livestock. Hummel said he plans to put the money he receives into a college fund.
Levi Cooley and his wether, Ted, was selected Reserve Grand Champion. Cooley, 14, a New Salem resident, is a member of the Griggsville 4-H. He has been showing for six years and exhibited the 2010 Grand Champion Meat Goat Wether.
Bodee Schlipf of El Paso will join Hummel in the sale. Schlipf and his 263-pound, crossbred barrow, Rudy, took top marks at the junior barrow show.
“I was confident,” Schlipf said. “(But) there was a lot of pressure.”
The 16-year-old Schlipf has been showing pigs and cattle for eight years now. He had the Reserve Grand Champion Barrow at the state fair a year ago.
“I like workin’ with the pigs every day,” Schlipf said.
His hard work paid off. He will use proceeds from the Sale of Champions to pay for his pigs and their feed bill. He is a member of the El Paso Champions 4-H Club and the El Paso-Gridley FFA Chapter.
Lucas Wisnefski and his 28-pound, crossbred barrow, Bruiser, were selected Reserve Grand Champion. A 13-year-old from Wyoming, Ill., Wisnefski has been showing for seven years. He is a member of the Stark County Century Clovers 4-H.