BELTON — Logan Coufal, 18, of Rogers 4-H, won grand champion market steer at the Bell County Youth Fair on Saturday with “Alabama Slammer,” who weighed 1,298 pounds.

It was Coufal’s third time to win the premier award. He first captured it in 2011. In 2012, he took both grand champion and reserve grand champion. Last year, Caitlen Doskocil, of Holland FFA, earned both of the top prizes.

Coufal said his secret was “a lot of time in the barn. And don’t give up. My dad helping me in the barn every day. It all starts in the barn.”

Coufal is a senior at Rogers High School, and this is his last youth fair. He’s the son of Lisa and Terry Coufal of Heidenheimer.

Caden Eary, 17, of Salado FFA, took reserve grand champion market steer with “Dozer,” who weighed 1,264 pounds.

Eary is the son of Mitchell and Brandin Davis of Troy. “He’s worked hard,” his mother said. “At times he’s in the barn until 10 p.m. taking care of his animals.”

En route to his win, Coufal won first place in the light heavyweight class. Eary placed first in the middle-weight class. Other first-place winners were Dahlton Schneider of Rogers FFA, heavyweight; Eary, with another steer, heavy middle weight; Ashton Thomas of Academy FFA, heavylight weight; and Tabitha Thomas of Academy FFA, light weight.

Jared Boyert, of Elmwood, Ill., served as market steer judge. “The community should be awfully proud of these exhibitors,” he said. “There’s no better place to be than in the livestock industry,” he told the finalists.

Pam Reavis, fair secretary, said this year’s fair has about 1,150 entries. “It just seems to grow every year,” she said. “You’d think it would slow down, with the economy and all. But these kids love their animals and the food and stuff.”

She said there might be as many as 700 volunteers, judging, helping set up the livestock barn and putting everything together for the show. She recommended visitors come at 8 a.m. Thursday for judging of the Farm Shop, primarily a display of construction projects.

The fair continues this week at the Bell County Expo Center and ends with an auction sale at noon Saturday. A Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association rodeo takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Timed horse show events, including barrel racing, pole bending and stake racing, will be at 1:30 p.m. today in the Expo Center arena.

For years, the market steer show was the last species show in the fair, said Bill Schumann, general agricultural superintendent. A schedule conflict with the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo last year caused the steer show to be moved up.

“We’re having the judging early again this year, to accommodate the kids,” he said. “They can make a decision, based on how they place here, to go to Fort Worth or not.”

Market lambs will be judged Monday, and market swine on Tuesday. Other entries to be judged this week include commercial steers, beef heifers, rabbits, goats, poultry and food division items.

Participants must be 8-19 years old, live or attend school in the county, and be in 4-H, FFA or Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

Other winners

Junior Market Steer Showman

Champion: Stuart Lastovica, Holland 4-H

Reserve champion: Allison Brinkman, Tigertown 4-H

Senior Market Steer Showman

Champion: Caden Eary, Salado FFA

Reserve champion: Ashton Thomas, Academy FFA

Light Weight Steers

1. Tabatha Thomas, Academy FFA

2. Ryan Eary, Troy FFA

3. Meredith Mikeska, Rogers 4-H

4. Caden Eary, Salado FFA

5. Travis Glaser, Rogers FFA

6. Jaycie Talbot, Rogers 4-H

7. Payton Porubsky, Oenaville 4-H

Heavy Light Weight Steers

1. Ashton Thomas, Academy FFA

2. Allison, Brinkman, Tigertown 4-H

3. Ryan Eary, Troy FFA

4. Allison Brinkman, Tigertown 4-H

5. Thomas Denman, Rogers 4-H

6. Dahlton Schneider, Rogers FFA

7. Cameron Cavanaugh, Troy FFA

8. Tabatha Thomas, Academy FFA

Middle Weight Steers

1. Caden Eary, Salado FFA

2. Logan Coufal, Rogers 4-H

3. Thomas Denman, Rogers 4-H

4. Maddison Brinkman, Tigertown 4-H

5. Stuart Lastovica, Holland 4-H

6. Caitlen Doskocil, Holland FFA

7. Ashton Thomas, Academy FFA

8. Jacob Warren, Killeen Career Center FFA

Heavy Middle Weight Steers

1. Caden Eary, Salado FFA, reserve grand champion

2. Stuart Lastovica, Holland 4-H

3. Logan Coufal, Rogers 4-H

4. Rance Williams, Rogers FFA

5. Erin Williams, Rogers FFA

6. Allison Brinkman, Tigertown 4-H

7. Erin Williams, Rogers FFA

8. Maya Denman, Rogers 4-H

Light Heavy Weight Steers

1. Logan Coufal, Rogers 4-H, grand champion

2. Reagan Best, Salado FFA

3. Erin Williams, Rogers FFA

4. Caitlen Doskocil, Holland FFA

5. Meredith Mikeska, Rogers 4-H

6. Trenton Glaser, Rogers FFA

7. Stuart Lastovica, Holland 4-H

8. Maddison Brinkman, Tigertown 4-H

Heavyweight Steers

1. Dahlton Schneider, Rogers FFA

2. Troy Glaser, Rogers FFA

3. Bekah Alcozer, Holland 4-H

4. Reagan Best, Salado FFA

5. Bekah Alcozer, Holland 4-H

6. Kailey Cavanaugh, Troy FFA

7. Logan Coufal, Rogers 4-H

8. Rance Williams, Rogers FFA

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