Showing in the Governors Charity Steer Show is once in a lifetime experience, Lovrien says
By Jean Caspers-Simmet
Date Modified: 08/27/2012 2:25 PM
CLARKSVILLE, Iowa — Ben Lovrien told his 10-year-old daughter, Ainsley, that participating in the Governor's Charity Steer Show is a once in a lifetime experience.
He should know. Twenty years ago, Ben Lovrien was in the show. He was 15 and Sen. Chuck Grassley showed his steer.
"We're real proud to be doing it again," Ben said.
Ainsley has showed Herefords on her own since she was four and has been around the show ring since she was a baby.
"I like showing," she said.
Ben and his wife, Jessica, met showing cattle at the Butler County Fair when they were in 4-H.
Ainsley has a sister, Sydney, 4, who showed for the first time at last year's Big Four Fair at Nashua. A a baby brother, Emmett, 11 months, is next in line.
Ben farms with his parents, Ted and Wanda, and his brother, Nick. Ben has 80 to 90 cow/calf pairs. He sells most of his calves commercially but also raises a few club calves.
When he was growing up, Ben's family raised pigs and showed calves on the side. Ben started his herd through 4-H.
In addition to showing her steer Nick, Ainsley exhibited the champion market hog and champion pen of three at the Butler County Fair.
Nick is a Maine-Anjou Angus cross sired by Smiling Bob. The steer was lightweight champion at the Butler County Fair and champion at the Northland Classic in Decorah.
Two years ago, Ainsley showed the champion Hereford at the Iowa Hereford Show. Bailey was the heifer's first calf, and Ainsley decided to keep and show her. Tim Negen of Clarksville came out and looked at the steer for Doug Bear, who is in charge of the Governor's Charity Steer Show. He then called and asked if the steer was available.
Justin Roberts, weather anchor at KGAN CBS 2 in Cedar Rapids, will show Ainsley's steer. The sponsor is McDonald's of Eastern Iowa.
"I was excited," Ainsley said. "They said that Justin showed dairy cows, so I suppose I'll have to show him how to use a show stick."
Monday Ainsley planned to show her Hereford heifer in the Open Show.
"I like showing cattle," Ainsley said. "Getting in the show ring feels good. I'm proud of my calf and I like to show it off. I want to keep getting better at showing."
Ben said he enjoys helping his daughters show livestock.
"It keeps the television and video games off and keeps the kids outside as much as possible," Ben said.
Ben said success in the show ring starts with a good animal. However, proper care — washing and training — is 40 percent of it.
"The ones that win are the ones who put in the time," he said.