MOUNT VERNON -- Cheyenne Anders stood beside her dairy steer with tears in her eyes as she took a picture with the 2021 junior fair master showman sign.
Her mother and sister looked on, also teary-eyed, beaming with pride.
“My sister is the reason I got into this,” Anders said. “I’ve looked up to her a lot. She’s taught me pretty much everything I know.
“I wouldn’t be close to the showman I am without her.”
Judge Jenna Barbour said she was looking for a showman who was both smooth and swift.
The Howard product was the most consistently accurate during her class showmanship, Barbour said, especially the final round where she applied the corrections given to her during class.
Anders has been showing cattle for over a decade, and Wednesday was her final showmanship competition. She has been in the master showmanship competition before but this marked the first time achieving the title of master showman for dairy steer.
She turned 19 years old in May and just made the age limit for Wednesday’s showmanship competition.
Anders said she had been nervous her dairy steer would not perform well, as it just turned 1-year-old a few days ago. But her steer, Donkey, named because of its large ears, cooperated well.
Anders ends her showmanship career with the title of master showman, but she is far from done working with cattle.
She works on two dairy farms and will finish out her employment with the farms this summer before beginning at the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute, where she will study artificial insemination, beef production or dairy management.
Anders has vast experience working with other animals as well, including llamas, rabbits, goats, chickens, ducks and turkeys.
“I’ve shown everything (at the Knox County Fair) other than a draft horse,” Anders said. “All the other species I have checked off the list.”
While Anders was overjoyed by her master showman achievement, she is most fulfilled when she sees younger children she has helped succeed.
When Anders was in seventh grade, a young girl asked for help with her dairy steer. Anders spent two nights working with her, well past midnight, to ensure the young girl felt confident, she said.
Anders has been helping younger participants with showmanship ever since.
“My mother has always taught me to help others like you’d want to be helped,” Anders said. “Give respect, and you’ll get respect.”
Anders placed first in the senior 15-year-and-older showmanship class.
Howard’s Ethan Swendal from Creative Kids placed first in the intermediate 12- to 14-year-old showmanship class.
Howard’s Sierra Shields from Creative Kids placed first in the junior 9- through 11-year-old showmanship class.
Butler’s Jaxon Plumly from Anything Goes 4-H Club placed first for first year showmanship, ages 8 through 11.