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4-Hers prepare for Western Montana Fair livestock judging

Published On: Aug 08 2013 06:54:41 PM MDT   Updated On: Aug 08 2013 10:03:00 PM MDT

Young livestock producers like Paul Wilson of Potomac have been working with their animals all year for this fair week.

Meet Paul and his steer Buddy.


Some of our state's most outstanding livestock are on show at the Western Montana Fair in Missoula.

The hard work of hundreds of kids and teens is paying off. Judges are evaluating their 4-H and FFA animals.

67 market steers and 13 miniature beef got their baths Thursday morning. Buddy was one of them. He's a Black Angus cross, who weighed in at 1,552 pounds.

"He was the largest steer here by about 100 pounds," said Buddy's owner, Paul Wilson.

Wilson's family raises purebred Angus cattle in Potomac.

A bull from the family ranch produced Buddy.

"He's a very big steer," said Paul's mom Shoni Card. "He's a very quiet, calm steer. He's very gentle."

Paul is 16. He's raised a number of market steers in his 4-H career. He thinks Buddy has good muscle tone and good lines.

"A little bit of finish on him," continued Wilson, "a little bit of fat on him to help marble the beef, to make it better eating."

Paul's mom thinks Buddy may be bigger than ideal for a show steer. But she likes him. She's proud of him and of her son. Shoni hopes the judging brings out confidence in Paul and his animal.

"Doing a good job with the calves or the calves behaving well," said Card. "I'm not so worried about what color ribbons they get."

Paul said of all the market steers he's raised, Buddy may be his best.

"I like doing the steers," said the teen. "I have a breeding heifer here also."

On Saturday, Buddy will be sold at auction.

"I'm going to miss him," said Wilson. "I like this steer. He is beautiful."