The McMillen brothers (left to right: Joseph, Jacob) and the winning steer, Kermit.

Courtesy | Maggie McMillen

The Delaware County Fair’s Grand Champion Market Beef winner was shown by Jacob McMillen on Sept. 18 in the Junior Fair Show Arena.

“We’re tickled and humbled,” said his mother, Maggie McMillen. “He’s never had that level of success before.”

The 17-month-old steer then sold for $8,500 on Tuesday night in the same arena during the Junior Fair Sale. The buyers were Cam Custom Carpentry, LLC; Champion Feed and Pet Supply; Delaware City Firefighters Local 606; Delaware County Farm Bureau; Farm Credit Mid-America; Forman Realtors; Fox Swim Solutions; Hildreth Farms; Hiram Masonic Lodge 18; and The Farm at St. Patrick’s. Then it went Hoffman Meats for processing.

“He had a whole gaggle of buyers,” Maggie McMillen said.

Jacob McMillen, 17, is a senior at Big Walnut High School who lives in Sunbury with his mom, his father Curtis, and brother Joseph. He is a member of Eagle Country 4-H.

The winning steer is named Kermit, from a family joke that a heifer purchased at the same time “chowed down like Miss Piggy.”

Back in school later in the week, Jacob McMillen wrote to The Gazette about his showing.

“Kermit is a smoke-colored, crossbred steer,” McMillen said. “We bought him as a calf and my brother, Joey, showed him here last year as a feeder calf and won Reserve Champion Beef Feeder.

“I think the steers are harder in general to raise than some our other animals because of the amount of time we have these projects. Usually, we have them for a year, but longer for us since we also showed him as a feeder.

“These steers can get up towards 1,400 pounds and sometimes they may not like to do what I want them to do. So, I like to push myself to do things that can be difficult to do.”

Maggie McMillen said her son also competed in the Skillathon for the class this year, placing fifth in the senior division.

“I showed my two Market Lambs at the fair as well this year, which I have been doing the whole time I’ve been in 4-H, this year being my eighth year in 4-H,” Jacob McMillen said. “I won Reserve Grand Champion with my pen of two market lambs at the Hartford fair a few years ago.”

The Hartford Independent Fair, held last month in Croton, allows competitors from a couple neighboring townships in Delaware and Knox counties.

Whether it’s at Hartford or Delaware, Jacob McMillen enjoys the fair experience.

“I love the people that the fair has introduced me to,” he said. “I feel since coming here I have made many new friends that will be with me for a long time. I do plan to show again next year, which is my final year of eligibility. I would also like to remain active in 4-H after that as a camp counselor and give back to those that helped me along the way.”

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak photographs and reports on stories in eastern Delaware County and surrounding areas.