MIAMI COUNTY — You won’t find Kassidy Thompson holed up in her room and sleeping in until noon like a typical teen.
Before the sun has a chance to rise, you’d find the 15 year-old sophomore at Milton-Union High School in the barn each morning before school and even on summer break.
And all that hard work paid off this week at the Miami County Fair.
Thompson won Grand Champion Jr. Fair and Open Show Market Steer with her entry she named “Boss.” Thompson has had Boss and her other steer, Diesel, since December. Diesel also fared well at the county fair, winning third overall in junior market steer show.
“I worked really, really hard. That’s all I worked on was my steers this summer,” Thompson said Wednesday.
“Showing teaches you hard work and responsibility. You have to be responsible, you have to take care of them, keep them alive and work on them. I love showing and meeting new people and spending time with my family.”
A typical day of barn work for Thompson starts around 5 a.m. each morning.
“From when we get them (in December) until now, I get up at 5 or 5:30 every morning,” she said. “We work them every day. Wash them. Dry them.Work with the show stick on them every day. Then we got to walk sheep and brace them and then walk pigs.”
Thompson’s success doesn’t stop at the steer barn. Thompson won Reserve Grand Champion Jr. Market barrow this week as well.
“I didn’t see that coming at all,” she said. “I didn’t show pigs last year and I missed it and so I did it this year. I just love showing pigs.”
Thompson also showed the pair of steers at the Ohio State Fair, capturing second and fourth place in her classes.
Thompson also captured the “Showman of Showmen” trophy in the steer barn during the fair. Her name joins her oldest sister Kaitlyn, 19, along with her father Dave’s name on the traveling trophy.
“This was the first time without my sister in the ring and that was definitely different,” she said. “In ‘Showman of Showman’ I’m usually competing against her, but this year she got to help me instead of competing against me.”
When her sister returned home from her freshmen year at University of Kentucky, she stepped in to lend a hand with the barn work and show technique.
“While I was a volleyball she helped me work with them and if I was doing something wrong, she told to fix it,” she said. “When she came back from school she helped me, but I was on my own for most of the time.”
Thompson said doing the barn work alone taught her more responsibility — which comes with a dash of pride — without her sister’s daily help.
“She helped me a lot when she was in 4-H,” she said. “I was proud of myself because I know I did most of the work on my animals this year and I did really good.”
Thompson was part of the Sale of Champions with her winning steer and market barrow on Wednesday evening. Letting go of the halter after all that hard work still isn’t easy, she said.
“It’s sad. I’m not ready to get rid of them,” she said. “This year is going to be hard because I spent so much time with them.”
Thompson won’t get much time off after the county fair is over. She’ll be back in the barn preparing Diesel for national shows at Kansas City and Louisville, Ky.
“It’s what I love doing,” she said.
Thompson is a member of the Union Township Meat Producers. She is the daughter of Dave and Tammy Thompson of West Milton.