INDIANAPOLIS — In the Coliseum at the Indiana State Fair Sunday a competition with no less drama and emotion than the Olympics was taking place.
Grand Champion and Reserve honors were bestowed on some of the best 4-H livestock in the state during the Grand Champion 4-H Drive earlier this week.
Jennifer Hinen, 18, of Columbia City, won Reserve Grand Champion Maine Anjou Steer at the Indiana State Fair Sunday.
“It was awesome being in the Grand Drive,” said Hinen. “I’ve never done this well before. It was crazy.”
“Directors of the fair took all of the champions and reserve champions in this little room. It included large animals from sheep, steers and goats. They told us how special it was to be included in the Grand Drive. I think that’s when it sunk in that my steer would be seen by thousands of people. It was an awesome experience,” said Hinen.
Prior to the Grand Drive her steer, named Coz showed with 800 other steers and came out nearly to the top.
The Hinen family are taking this steer to Louisville, Ken., for the North America International Livestock Exposition to see how he fares there. That show is from Nov. 3 to 16.
“It’s another show, and it’s really huge,” said Hinen.
“The judge at the state fair told me he needs to gain at least 200 more pounds to add more cover. Cover is the marbled fat in the meat,” she said.
After Coz goes to, as Ritter Cox says at the 4-H Auction, to the 4-H Heaven above, Hinen is keeping a little something from Coz.
“We are keeping his cowhide and making a blanket out of it. My red steer’s hide will be the pillows. We are also keeping one of his hooves and leg to make a pencil container and we are also keeping his skull,” she said.
Hinen has shown beef at the ISF for four years and swine for nine years. She will finish up her 4-H career in 2013.
Jennifer is a daughter of Cindy and Jeff Hinen and resides in Thorncreek Township.
Other Whitley County 4-Hers are doing well at the ISF. Jackie Leeuw won Grand Champion in poultry. Eryn Schinbeckler won champion in sheep and Ryan Sheets, Hannah Reid and Brooke Pettigrew also did well in beef.