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Published December 18, 2009, 07:58 AM

White Lake teen sells prized steer for $22,000

WHITE LAKE — Bayley Kroupa is no stranger to showing cattle in the Sale of Champions, a part of the North American International Livestock Exposition at which buyers can bid on animals raised by youth from across the country.
But even three previous years of experience didn’t prepare her for the rush that comes from watching a prized animal sell for $22,000.

By: Austin Kaus, The Daily Republic

WHITE LAKE — Bayley Kroupa is no stranger to showing cattle in the Sale of Champions, a part of the North American International Livestock Exposition at which buyers can bid on animals raised by youth from across the country.

But even three previous years of experience didn’t prepare her for the rush that comes from watching a prized animal sell for $22,000.

“When the bidding got above $20,000, I was ecstatic,” said Kroupa, a 13-year-old eighth-grader from rural White Lake. “I had to act professional, so I just kept a smile on my face.”

When the bidding finally ended at the sale last month in Louisville, Ky., Kroupa had sold the Reserve Champion Steer.

Shortly after that, the real celebration began.

“They put our steers in the pen and, after that, I was jumping for joy,” Kroupa said. “It was wonderful.”

Kroupa, the daughter of Greg and Renette Kroupa, is the fourth of the Kroupa children to participate in the sale. A steer prepared by her older sister, Shelby, placed sixth at this year’s Sale of Champions. Shelby’s steer, Maynard, was named the Junior Grand Champion steer at the 2008 National Western Stock Show.

In the past, two older siblings also participated in the contest. The sale is only for producers aged 10 to 21.

The sale grossed $98,800 for six champion animals, breaking the former record set in 2006 by $3,300.

Bayley said it takes a lot of work to prepare a steer for the sale. She’s already started work on calves in hopes that one of the animals might rival the success found last month in Kentucky.

School and extracurricular activities keep Kroupa busy, but she said it’s important to find time to tame and take care of the animals in preparation for next year’s sale.

“Every weekend, we’re out there from early morning to late afternoon working our show steers,” Kroupa said. “The biggest challenge is probably getting them tamed so they don’t run away from me in the show ring.”

Kroupa said she expects to work with cattle and other farm animals in some respect for the rest of her life, whether it’s as a producer or a veterinarian.

The rural life, Kroupa said, is in her blood.

“Growing up on a farm is much different than living in town,” Kroupa said. “I think you get a lot more experience on the farm.”

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