Four sisters on the Detroit FFA team went to Iowa to compete in a national competition, and they came back with several top placements.
Detroit High School senior Alexus Eudy, junior Shelby Eudy, seventh-grader Ashleigh Eudy and sixth-grader Alissa Eudy attended the Iowa State Fair last week and each placed highly in various categories in the hereford cattle divisions. They were competing against roughly 500 people at the state fair, with thousands more competing in the other divisions.
Alexus Eudy was the grand champion of the senior showmanship competition, which Detroit FFA Director Tracy Denny said is more focused on the performance of the students.
“In showmanship, it’s all about how well they present the animals, and not the animals themselves,” Denny said. “They quiz the competitors on various aspects and interview them on how hard they worked.”
Shelby Eudy also competed in showmanship, and finished as the runner-up, only behind her sister.
In addition to the top placing in showmanship, Alexus finished as reserve overall grand prospect steer, second place prospect steer and fourth place with her market steer.
In addition to Shelby Eudy winning reserve senior showmanship, she also placed third with her prospect steer. Alissa also placed 3rd with her prospect steer.
Ashleigh Eudy won the grand champion overall two-year-old bull and reserve overall champion late senior bull.
The combined placings are the best the family has done at a competition, Denny said.
“Individually, they’ve done well at state and national events, but this is the best event they’ve had where all four of them really excelled,” she said.
Denny said she’s proud of the girls, but added that their success doesn’t quite surprise her, given the extreme dedication they show.
It’s not uncommon for Denny to find them training and working before school starts, after school ends, and in the breaks during the school day, she said.
In critiquing the bulls and steers, Denny said judges looked at how healthy the animals were, their reproductive qualities, bone structure and more.
Denny said the placements, especially those of Ashleigh and Alissa Eudy, were impressive given the fact that the girls were competing against people of all ages.
“Now, the showmanship was broken down by age group, but the others were competing against all ages,” she said. “So they were going up against adults who have been doing this for years. That’s very impressive and not something you see very often.”
The Eudy sisters are no strangers to big competitions like this, Denny said. They attend several competitions per year throughout the state and beyond. Later this year, the sisters will travel to Missouri and Kentucky for competitions.
“Alexus and Shelby have been showing since sixth grade, so they’ve been doing this for a long time,” Denny said. “Alissa and Ashleigh I think will definitely follow in their older sisters’ footsteps.”
With graduation coming up for Alexus, Denny said the eldest Eudy sister hopes to turn her love of animals into a career, and plans on becoming a veterinarian.
“It’s been a blessing for me to teach them, and I’m so proud of what they accomplished,” Denny said. “This was their first time at that show, and they came back with lots of ribbons and lots of memories.”