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Neighbors share love of raising animals, competition at steer events during fair

Thomas Payne and Cody Myers live on farms next to each other. Payne is 13 and has been in 4-H for four years, Myers is 12 and has participated three years.

The boys have almost identical stories about working with their calves and getting them to the fair, their calves were even both born in February. They repeated similar routines. Both said they washed the calves daily, kept them cool, practiced showing them and worked on their stances.

The two are even in it for the same reasons, almost.

"It's fun," Payne said. "I'm not in it for the money."

Myers agrees with the fun part, but not the money.

"With the steer, I'm in it for the money," he said.

What really differs between them are the awards they walked away with Thursday night.

Payne received first in beef feeder calf steer and grand champion feeder calf steer for his animal then continued his streak getting senior beef breeding showmanship for his performance.

Myers received one first-place award for beef feeder calf heifer, but he seemed content because he will take his heifer on for more competing.

Myers said he is taking the heifer to the Ohio State fair in August.

Both boys said they did not know if they would win, but are excited about their awards.

Payne said, even though he has done this for four years now, things change every year. He said no matter how much he knows about his calf, what happens in the ring cannot be predicted.

Myers agreed.

"I thought I had a pretty good calf, but you just don't know what will happen," Myers said.

The class winners of the feeder calf, beef breeding and showmanship are Evan Herrell, junior beef calf; Olivia Brock, junior yearling beef; Marcus Stallo, beef aged cows; Kyle Taylor, beef cow and calf; Cody Myers, beef feeder calf heifer; Justin Payne, beef feeder calf steer; Luke Taylor, dairy feeder calf steer; Justin Payne, champion feeder calf steer; Justin Payne, senior beef breeding showmanship; and Austin Owens, junior beef breeding showmanship.