The Ben Lauren Memorial Livestock Show is one of the fastest growing shows in Michigan, with another record amount of entries of goats, steer and more at the Alger County Fairgrounds July 26-27.
Winning the Overall Grand Champion Showman award was Kiley Bieskie from downstate Jackson County. A regular competitor in competitions below the bridge, Bieskie travelled to the Alger County Fairgrounds to take the win.
“It’s been super busy, although it’s been super fun meeting new people and competing against very good showmen,” Bieskie said.
To win Overall Grand Champion, Bieskie defeated Lamb Grand Champion Showman Elizabeth VanLuven and Steer Grand Champion Emma Verbeek. The three presented hogs, goats, lambs and steer so each competitor could showcase their own skills with the animals. It was th
To qualify for the overall competition, Bieskie won the Goat Grand Champion Showman. It was a good class for her as she also took both awards in the market goat division as well. Bieskie said that the goat division was the toughest of the show because of the tough competition, which included defeating last year’s Overall Grand Champion Ansel Frost.
“Goats were very hard because there were a lot of good showmen and a lot of new showmen too,” Bieskie said. “The younger kids will be better than what we are now if they keep up with their work.”
The future looks bright for the show as well. The Ben Lauren Memorial Livestock Show is one of the few non-county fair related shows in the Upper Peninsula, but its growing prestige brings in competitors from all across the state.
The show is named after Ben Lauren, who died while fighting a fire with the Forsyth Township Volunteer Fire Department in 2020. A frequent showman of animals during his youth, a number of donations from the Ben Lauren Foundation have helped continue livestock showing in the Marquette and Alger County areas.
OVERALL AWARDS: Hogs: Showmanship – Grand Champion Violet Amos, Reserve Champion Stevie Suhs; Market – Grand Champion Gavin Stebleton, Reserve Champion Paige Richer
Lambs: Showmanship – Grand Champion Elizabeth Van Luven, Reserve Champion Avery Rose; Market – Grand Champion Ansel Frost, Reserve Champion Andrew Strohm
Goats: Showmanship – Grand Champion Kiley Bieskie, Reserve Champion Ansel Frost; Market – Grand and Reserve Champions Kiley Bieskie
Steer: Showmanship – Grand Champion Emma Verbeek, Reserve Champion Avery Rose; Market – Grand Champion Ansel Frost, Reserve Champion Elizabeth VanLuven;
Breeding Stock: Showmanship – Grand Champion Violet Amos, Reserve Champion Amanda Soderman; Market – Grand Champion Violet Amos, Reserve Champion Brenna Bruce