Gerrett Davison, a 2014 Madison-Plains High School graduate, was not surprised when his champion steer sold for $80,000 last weekend at the sale of champions at the Ohio State Fair.
Not surprised because auctioneer Johnny Regula always pushes, prods, pleads with the crowd to bump that bid another thousand dollars.
“He wanted a hundred (thousand),” Davison said Thursday.
The buyer of Davison’s 1,339-pound straw-hide Charolais steer named Butters was Steve Rauch, an excavating and demolition contractor from Dayton. Davison recognized him as a generous supporter of top beef shows including “best” shows.
In “best” shows, which are held around the state, competitors score points at each show. Points are tabulated at the end of the circuit. In that competition, Butters won Champion All Other Breeds (AOB) and another animal of Davison’s took Reserve Crossbred steer.
Davison acquired Butters at age six months from a breeder in Illinois in October of 2013. He said his dad did not disclose the purchase price to him. The object was to acquire a steer with a good bloodline.
From that point on the care and feeding of Butters becomes a daily routine. His food is measured and is given daily along with a portion of hay. Butters also had access to a lick tub as a mineral supplement.
“It tastes sweet to them and they like it,” Davison explained.
From October through April, Davison bathed Butters daily.
“It stimulates hair growth,” he said.
From April through August, Davison rinsed Butters twice a day. He wanted to show off the animal’s unusual straw color. It added up to six-to-eight-hour days and “a lot of work,” Davison said.
However, Butters was easy to work with, Davison said, calling him a nicely tempered animal that wouldn’t “hurt a fly” and thrived on the attention lavished on him.
Exercise is not a huge priority, but to stimulate some walking, Davison would place the hay bunk at the farthest end of the corral.
In his four years of showing at the state fair, this is by far his best showing. His best showing prior to this year’s state fair was a champion in division three with a crossbreed in 2012.
He earned $21,000 from the sale. The remainder of the sale price is funneled into a scholarship fund, as well as other 4-H and show projects. With several scholarships through FFA, the farm bureau and the Katy Fisher scholarship at Madison-Plains, Davison has accumulated a nice “nest egg” to apply to his college tuition, according to his mother, Amber.
Davison said he will start later this month at the Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster and study agronomy. He will spend two years there and then move to the Columbus campus.
Butters has met the fate of all champion market animals. Davison viewed his carcass on Wednesday. Judges were impressed with his muscle to fat ratio.
Davison is hoping for an invitation from Rauch to enjoy the fruits of his labors at the dinner table.
Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1617 or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.