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RBC | Corbin Lucero has been participating in 4-H since he was 5-years-old, starting as a “Cloverbud.” He has been showing livestock since he was 8, but this year marks his first time winning grand champion for beef in Rio Blanco County.
“I was speechless, it was amazing. It was probably one of the best times of my life. It was awesome.”
Last year Lucero won his class with one of his steers, and made it to the Grand Drive, but ultimately he didn’t win.
“That just made me wanna work so much harder this year, because I told myself I wanted to win next year,” Lucero said. “I put my mind to it, went out, farmed my own steers and worked my butt off all year long. It finally paid off I guess.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced closures of state fairs and jackpot shows, Lucero said he was worried the county fair would be next, and all the hard work, time and financial investment would go to waste.
“There were a couple weeks where we didn’t even know. When the county commissioners said that we’re having it, that was a huge relief,” he said.
Lucero considers this his first year taking full ownership of his 4-H projects, but he hasn’t forgotten those who helped him along the way, like Samantha Lapp, who he said he watched in 4-H over the years and eventually struck up a conversation to express interest in participating.
“She introduced me to the Nieberger family, and their daughter had just ‘aged out’ so they were super excited to be able to help someone else,” Lucero said. “They took me in with the Lapp family and they helped me throughout my first year and second year.”
That small conversation had a major impact on Lucero. He emphasized the significant role 4-H now plays in his life.
“This is all I do. I don’t hang out with friends in the summer because I’m in the barn working hair, or making sure my showmanship skills are in top shape for county fair and all the shows I go to,” he said.
PAYING IT FORWARD
Corbin Lucero said that enthusiasm for helping others is what 4-H is all about. He encouraged anyone interested in participating to do exactly what he did, just ask for help.
“Pick someone who you admire, pick someone you know works hard and go ask them questions. It looks intimidating, but just go ask questions. They’re gonna want to help you.”
Lucero said he is excited to help new families who are just getting started, in the same way others helped him.
With the title of grand champion under his belt — and a buckle to prove it — Lucero now has a taste for victory, and he isn’t done quite yet.
“For 4-H I wanna take it for the rest of my career, I wanna win three years in a row,” he said.
Win or lose, three years from now when Lucero ages out of 4-H, he hopes to explore his interest in government.
And Lucero’s winning steer’s name? Darrel.
“He just looked like a Darrel to me.”
By LUCAS TURNER | firstname.lastname@example.org