Weighing in at 1,254 pounds, a 3½-year-old crossbred hog bested the competition to claim the Big Boar title at the 2019 Iowa State Fair.
Named “Captain,” the winner is owned by Bryan and Tricia Britt of Monticello. Second place was claimed by “Brutus,” a 3½-year-old crossbred boar weighing 1,188 pounds and owned by Marv Reitman of Sioux Center. A 6-year-old crossbred weighing 1,188 pounds named “Slim,” owned by Laurie Farms of Indianola, earned third place.
The Big Boar, along with the Big Ram and Super Bull, was on display at the fair. Captain stole the show at the fair’s swine barn as a total of six boars competed in the contest.
Ernie Barnes, swine superintendent for 17 years at the fair, said the modern record weight for the Big Boar contest is held by Reggie. The 2012 winner weighed a whopping 1,335 pounds. Last year’s winner, Itty Bitty, took the 2018 crown, weighing 1,163 pounds.
BIG BOAR: Captain, the Big Boar contest winner at this year’s Iowa State Fair, weighed in at 1,254 pounds.
Captain’s owner, Bryan Britt, was certain his hog was going to take home the gold. Britt said Captain enjoys eating Captain Crunch cereal and a shot of Captain Morgan rum occasionally. That’s not all the boar eats, said Britt, who makes sure Captain is fed a well-balanced diet of corn and soybean meal.
Beefy bull captures first
In the Super Bull contest, the winner weighed in at 2,710 pounds. Named “DLH Upward 122” (his pedigree name), he is owned by Lynn Henry of Indianola. This bull was last year’s runner-up at the Super Bull competition, and he weighed even more then: a hefty 2,984 pounds. Last year’s champion, named 231Z, weighed 3,050 pounds.
Although DLH Upward 122 was slimmer this year than in 2018, the 7-year-old bull still took home the crown. His owner has been in the Angus breeding cattle business for 40 years. Henry said it takes a lot of care to get a bull of that size to live that long. “Structural correctness is important,” he said . “You have to watch the legs and feet; keep them healthy and in good shape. Big bulls don’t get this old without sound, healthy legs and feet.”
Second place went to Domino, a bull weighing in at 2,624 pounds. Mama’s boy came in third, weighing 2,526 pounds. The record-holding biggest bull at the Iowa State Fair weighed more than 3,400 pounds, said Tim Heindel, who has been beef cattle superintendent at the fair for 17 years.
Shropshire ram the winner
In the Sheep Barn, a Shropshire ram named Clark, owned by Rueber Shropshires of Marshalltown, tipped the scales at 452 pounds to win the Big Ram title at the 2019 Iowa State Fair. Second place was claimed by Phil, a Lincoln breed ram owned by Seelow Sheep Farm of State Center. He weighed in at 333 pounds. The 2019 Big Ram show had seven entries.
Charity Steer Show raises $284,000
Before he chose the champion steer at this year’s 37th annual Governor’s Charity Steer Show at the Iowa State Fair, Brian Thill announced to the crowd: “One hundred twenty-one days ago, I had a kidney transplant. I didn’t know if I was ever going to attend the Iowa State Fair again, and I sure didn’t dream I’d be doing this.”
Thill, of Pleasantville, served as official judge for the Aug. 10 steer show. “Our family knows the hidden costs you go through when you have a family member seriously ill. The costs add up when you’re in the hospital,” he said. “Thank God the Ronald McDonald House is there for those families.”
The show and auction raised over $284,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa, in Des Moines, Iowa City and Sioux City. The houses are located near hospitals and provide a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children. The Iowa Beef Industry Council and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association sponsor the annual steer show and auction, hosted by the governor of Iowa in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion.
Supporting an outstanding cause
Since it began in 1983, the Charity Steer Show has raised over $3.8 million for Ronald McDonald Houses of Iowa. This year’s event included 25 steers, the Iowa youth who raised them and celebrity show people, including Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Thill selected “Richard,” a steer raised by Makia Smith and shown by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, as this year’s “Judge’s Choice.” Richard was sponsored by the Crawford County Cattlemen’s Association and purchased by a coalition of Sioux County businesses for $9,000 with an additional $1,000 support from the lieutenant governor and others. The market value of the steer was also donated, bringing the total donation to $11,498.
A steer shown by Brian Moore, former District 58 state representative in the Iowa Legislature, was chosen by the crowd as People’s Choice. The steer, named “Straight Profit,” was raised by Riley Miller, sponsored by Jackson County Cattlemen, and purchased by Johnson Family Farms.
Justine Stevenson, representing the Seeds of Hope Foundation, earned the Showmanship Award from judge Terry Chapman of Tipton. Stevenson’s steer, “Seeds of Hope,” was raised by Brianna Wolfer of Albia and sponsored and purchased by the Monroe County Cattlemen and supporters, including the family of Chasen Stevenson.
Emcees for this year’s Charity Steer Show were Bob Quinn and Andy Peterson of WHO/WMT Radio, and Michelle Rook of WNAX. Auctioneers were Phil Schooley of Bloomfield, Will Epperly of Dunlap, Russele Sleep of Bedford and Jared Miller of Leon. Catching bids in the ring were Tom Rooney, Mike Sorensen, Austin Brandt and Jason Lekin.