Competing in the Jackson County 4-H supreme showman competition for the third straight year, Cameron Eggersman was ready for a breakthrough.
Standing in the way the past couple of years was his friend, Richayla Huff.
Before Thursday’s competition in the Jackson County Fairgrounds show arena in Brownstown, Eggersman said Huff was joking with him and giving him a hard time.
He chose to stay focused, and it paid off. For the first time, he claimed the supreme showman trophy.
“She was giving me a lot of hard time before the supreme showmanship and went on trying to get in my head, and I just let it go. I said, ‘I’m not talking to you right now,’” said Eggersman, 16, a junior at Brownstown Central High School.
It was all friendly competition, he said. And he was happy to finally come out on top.
“I was pretty shocked,” he said. “It really feels good when you put that much work into it that it pays off at the end of the summer.”
Cameron, who completed his eighth year of 4-H, continued a family tradition of showing beef cattle, following in the footsteps of his older brothers, Jordan and Evan.
“It has been a family thing for quite some time now,” Cameron said. “I don’t know how long my dad and grandpa have had cows, but my brother started showing whenever he was a freshman in high school, and the three brothers, we’ve just been working at it for a while now and finally got to the stage where we’re just kind of starting to really improve things.”
Cameron is the second brother to win supreme showman. Evan claimed that honor in his final year of 4-H. Jordan also reached that competition twice when he was in 4-H.
“It’s quite an accomplishment, actually,” Cameron said. “Coming into this week, really, all I had planned was just win supreme showmanship. This is the third year I’ve been in it, and the first two years, I didn’t win it, and that was really my goal I wanted to do all week. Actually, all summer, I kind of had that in mind in the back of my head.”
To qualify for supreme showman, a 4-H’er has to win the master showman title in their species of animal, including beef cattle, dairy beef cattle, dairy cattle, Boer goat, dairy goat and sheep.
Cameron was the beef cattle master showman for the third year in a row. This year, he won that with the only Simmental heifer he showed at the fair.
He said he spent a lot of time preparing the cow for the fair.
“It starts pretty early in the spring, pretty much rinsing calves every day, making sure they are getting the correct amount of feed so they are conditioned just perfectly and just working hair and stuff like that to get the final touch on them so you make them look good for the ring,” he said.
During supreme showman, Cameron had a lot to prove with his cow.
“Being able to present your animal the best you possibly can, making sure you get your animal set up fast enough, keep your eye on the judge, really be focused,” he said. “And being able to know your animal is really important, as well.”
That’s because the judge may ask several questions, including the birth date or genetics of the animal or what the 4-H’er would like to change about the animal.
Since he has shown cattle at the fair and other places in the past, Cameron said that part of the competition doesn’t bother him.
“I wouldn’t say it’s complicated for me,” he said. “I just kind of know it off the top of my head just working with them and turning in papers and stuff like that for 4-H. You just see it often, so it’s really not that big of a deal.”
Cameron said practice has helped him have success at the fair and other shows throughout the year.
This coming weekend, he will take two cows to the Indiana State Fair and compete in showmanship and a cattle show.