Finding Friendship Through Northwestern Michigan Fair

Jared Kraeft had been showing lamb at the fair since he was 8 years old.

Until this year–after he met an older gentleman looking to sponsor a young kid showing larger livestock, and he met his match with a steer.

“From the very beginning it’s cool to watch him as he grew,” said Jared.

Mr. Dillon, the steer, weighs in at a whopping 1325 pounds…with a big personality to match his big body.

“He is a big, big lover,” Jared said.  

And just as Jared and his prized steer have developed quite the friendship, Jared’s sponsor, Bruce, has become more than just a sponsor.

“We have grown together not just through our partnership but also as friends and that’s big,” said Jared.

Bruce says becoming a sponsor–has been on his bucket list for about a decade now.

“I always wanted to raise herd for cattle and I always wanted to have someone show one or two or my calves,” said Bruce. “This is a dream and he’s my first guy through.”

And theirs is a relatively unique relationship…It’s not very common for showers at the Northwestern Michigan Fair to have sponsors.

A lot of these young people are farm children so they got immediate access to an animal and they just bring it off the farm and have the ability to show it.

But Jared lives in a residential neighborhood so he’s started from scratch…

And is grateful to have worked with someone who knows a thing or two about farming.

“Definitely working with my sponsor has made it a better experience and it’s taught me more than I could have learned on my own,” said Jared.

“Oh it’s wonderful,” said Bruce. “It’s been a lot of fun I just can’t tell ya how proud I am of this young man, he’s very deserving and you watch you will do very well in life.”

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