12-year-old girl sells steer for $100,000 Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn congratulates Shaelye Varneron on her grand champion steer (AP photo / ThinkStock)
12-year-old girl sells steer for $100,000
Lexile

A 12-year-old girl needs a bigger piggy bank.

Shaelye Varner showed the grand champion steer at the Illinois State Fair, then sold it at auction for a whopping $100,000. That shattered last year's fair record of $62,000.

Large companies like AT&T, Monsanto and DeKalb Asgrow combined to bid for Varner's steer.

Fair officials say $100,000 would have bought almost every animal in the sale of champions just four years ago.

This year, the auction netted more than $260,000 for the kids who raised the animals, as well as the 4-H and Future Farmers of America programs. Each receives 10 percent of the proceeds.

Shaelye says she's been showing since she was 5 years old. She plans to save her money and use it for a future career in livestock.

According to The State Journal-Register newspaper of Springfield, Shaelye wore a huge smile Tuesday evening.

WGN radio personality and 53-year Illinois State Fair fixture Orion Samuelson even halted the auction when potential buyers ran up bids of $94,000 for Varners champion steer. He wanted to ask her how she felt.

Samuelson also urged the crowd not to applaud. That's because Varners 1,330-pound steer, named Ted, gets skittish in large crowds.

Varner said that even though she knew her steer was good, she was surprised it was a Grand Champion worth $100,000.

I havent won this big of a show before, she said.

Critical thinking challenge: Why was the crowd asked to be quiet?

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COMMENTS (82)
  • Jason0421-YYCA
    8/18/2014 - 07:35 p.m.

    I think that it is amazing for a girl to be able to sell her steer for such a high price. I think that Samuelson is very happy for what he got. I think that Shaelye Varner worked very hard to train her steer because someone can't just get $100,000 without training the steer. I also hope that the girl would be able to use that money really well for her future livestock.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why was the crowd asked to be quiet?
    Answer: The crowd was asked to be quiet because the steer was skittish around large groups of people.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    8/18/2014 - 08:45 p.m.

    This is unbelievable. How can a grand champion steer be worth $100,000. That is a lot of money. Even Orion Samuelson halted the auction because the prices were going very high. But, it is an auction so everyone has to compete for the prize. If one animal was worth that much, then it was worth all the animals in the fair four years ago that is unbelievable. Companies had to combine to buy the steer. I guess it really is that expensive. Maybe it became the grand champion for winning races and then the horse retired. I do not know for sure what he steer became the grand champion of so I just guessed what it was.
    Critical Thinking Challenge: Why was the crowd asked to be quiet?
    Answer: The crowd was quiet because Ted, the steer, gets skittish in large crowds and they make a lot of noise so Mr. Samuelson told the crowd to say quiet just as the crowd was about to applause.

  • Caroline16
    8/19/2014 - 01:20 p.m.

    It's nice that he went up to that far but he is still animal and to work well with your animal you have to love your animal and they have to love you back.

  • 18Beau-May
    8/19/2014 - 02:29 p.m.

    I just cant believe a twelve year old girl sold a steer for 100,000 dollars.I think its unbelieveable.Iwonder why someone bought a steer for 100,000$

  • walkermc-Sch
    8/20/2014 - 11:39 a.m.

    Thats pretty cool that a girl could sell her calf for 100,000 dollars. I show calves myself so i dont think it is that great of an amount. The champion american royal steer was 180,000.

  • macyt-Sch
    8/20/2014 - 11:40 a.m.

    They were asked to be quiet in the stands because her steer gets antsy when its loud. She wanted her steer to be nice so she asked them to be quiet.

  • mitchellw-Sch
    8/20/2014 - 11:42 a.m.

    The crowd was quieted because Shaelye's calves get scared when he is around big crowds. The auction was paused and she got asked how she felt about all that money.

  • sidneya-Sch
    8/20/2014 - 01:48 p.m.

    I think that is a lot of money to buy of calve. Selling a calves should only be like 2,000 or 1,500 dollars! 100,000 is a lot of money for a steer!

  • deshawnc-Sch
    8/20/2014 - 01:49 p.m.

    wow this cow does not look that nice i was thinking that if i could i would go and tell that gairl that it needs more work

  • haleyb-Sch
    8/20/2014 - 01:50 p.m.

    I have never seen a cow go for that much. If it is a red calf it will go for less but that one went for a lot. I have only seen a cow go for 82 thousand but I it can go for a lot more. I wish that my cows would go for that.

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