Teeple to come back to defend 4-H title

After seven years in 4-H competition, Barwick resident Jeff Teeple climbed to the top of 4-H showmanship in the district as the first person to win both the grand champion showman and the grand champion steer awards.
Modest, Teeple gave most of the credit to his steer’s blood line and genetics but did admit he chose the animal as well as nurtured it.
“I don’t know if there’s any secrets,” said Teeple. “I just go and look for the straightest one I could find and look for one with good feet.
“It was a Simmenpal and they are known to have really good bone structure, and this one was a lot finer–he was a meat machine,” he added. “And it had Fleckviah in it–it’s something that’s bred into their genes to make them grow bigger.”
Teeple, who lives on a cattle farm with about 120 head, has been around cattle for as long as he can remember and been a 4-H member for years. He plans on remaining involved in 4-H for as long as possible as a member or leader.
“It taught me a lot, it taught me what to look for in an [animal] and teamwork,” said Teeple.
Teeple left yesterday morning for his first year of post-secondary education at McMaster University in Hamilton, where he will take mechanical engineering.
The trip is his first time at the university itself and in Hamilton.
“I’m a little bit of both, I’m really excited but a little nervous too,” he admitted.
But, Teeple added, he hopes to make the district home and to have his own herd of cattle.
In the meantime, he plans to return home next summer as well as return to 4-H competition.
“I’ve got to do it again, I’m going to be back,” he confirmed.
This year, 19 4-H members sold a steer at the annual Emo Fair auction, gathering a little more pocket money.
Teeple’s animal sold for $2.45 a pound, enough to pay for his first year at school.
“I’d like to thank McQuaker Trucking for purchasing the steer, that was great,” he said. “It’s pretty good because it covers my tuition.
Teeple had raised some of his own cows and made a trade for the steer when it was a calf.
Working his way up, Teeple was named the reserve grand champion for his steer in 2000 and, for others entering the competition, gave a hint of advice.
“My best word of advice is to listen to the judges and listen to what they have to say,” he suggested.