Showing beef: It’s all in the family

For Ali Muir, showing her animals in the Junior Fair Beef Breeding and Feeder Calf Show at the Auglaize County Fair is just part of being in the Muir family.
Muir, 16, of Waynesfield, who showed several cattle Wednesday afternoon in the Junior Fair competition, has been showing cattle for 11 years. She said she got involved in 4-H after watching her older sister.
“My sister showed here (at the Auglaize County Fair),” Muir said of her sister, Candace. “She’s out of 4-H now, since she’s 21.”
She said she has had a busy schedule showing her animals.
“We just showed at the state fair last week,” Muir said. “We’re actually heading back to state fair next week.”
While raising cattle is in the family, she said she also enjoys the animals.
“I love showing cattle,” Muir said. “I show all types of livestock — sheep, cattle. It’s what I do and it’s all I do.”
To prepare for shows, she does a lot of work at home.
“You have to do your homework at home before a show,” Muir said, noting that she works on her cattle’s hair and works with them on showmanship.
She noted that preparation at home is the key to success in showing the animals.
“I just stay calm and remember what I worked with them on at home,” Muir said of her strategy in the ring.
For Kathryn Elshoff, 10, of St. Marys, showing 4-H projects also runs in the family.
“All of my brothers were actually doing 4-H and I wanted to get involved,” Elshoff said.
Now in her second year of showing, she said the hardest part was training her calf because he can be stubborn at times.
“The first time you walk him, he doesn’t know what to do,” Elshoff said. “He was really stubborn but once you teach them, they know what to do.”
Elshoff said she has enjoyed her time working with her calf.
“The best part is getting to know your calf better and getting to try to win prizes,” Elshoff said.
Muir also noted that the cattle can be stubborn.
“The hardest part is probably training them as babies,” Muir said. “Teaching them to set up and lead can be hard. They’re stubborn as babies. You have to teach them.”
Muir said being a member of 4-H has taught her a lot of qualities that will be useful in her future, and it has been the most beneficial part of showing her animals.
“You learn responsibility, respect toward others, leadership and ethics,” Muir said.