Cassopolis native Victoria Wright stands next to her steer, Simba. The sophomore at Michigan State University won two awards during Wednesday’s Youth Beef Show at the Cass County Fair. (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)
Cassopolis native Victoria Wright stands next to her steer, Simba. The sophomore at Michigan State University won two awards during Wednesday’s Youth Beef Show at the Cass County Fair. (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

Archived Story

MSU student wins awards in fair beef competition

Published 8:53am Thursday, July 31, 2014

In her freshman year at Michigan State University, Cassopolis’ Victoria Wright had a lot on her plate: studying, making new friends, adjusting to life on campus.

She also had to find time to raise five animals for competition at this year’s Cass County Fair.

On Wednesday, Wright’s hard work paid off in a big way, as the 18-year-old received two awards for her steer during the fair’s youth beef show: the reserve grand champion in the heavy weight beef steer class, and the reserve grand champion in the overall county born and raised category.

Wright, who was born and raised in Cassopolis, is a longtime veteran of the fair, showing cattle, hogs, lambs, rabbits and chickens for the past decade with Legacy 4-H club, along with her siblings, she said.

“My dad got us into it,” she said. “He used to show when he was younger, and he got us into it when we were younger. We’ve been doing it ever since.”

Her father, Rob, has helped Wright take care of her steer, which she named Simba (after the main character of “The Lion King”), at the family farm while she still attending classes in Lansing, she said.

“If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I could have shown [Simba] this year,” Wright said. “He does a lot.”

For Wright, the fair is the time when all the hard work she puts into her animals over the summer is rewarded, she said.

“Seeing how they place after spending months and months of work raising them, it’s a great feeling,” she said.

Simba will go up for auction tomorrow, where Wright hopes he will fetch a good price, considering the two championships she won with him.

“The money I get goes toward buying my steer for next year,” she said.

Wright is currently studying agribusiness at Michigan State. The transition from the fields and farms of Cassopolis to the metropolis of East Lansing wasn’t easy for her at first, she said.

“Going from a class of 47 to a campus of 50,000 was definitely different,” she said. “I think I adjusted pretty well, though.”

With one more year left with Legacy 4-H, Wright said she plans on showing her last set of animals at next year’s fair.

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