Honoring a decades-old family history at the Kent Co Youth Fair

Joanna at the Youth Fair Saturday

LOWELL, Mich. -- It's the last day of the annual Kent County Youth Fair and for one young local woman it is a proud moment.

For the first time in her life, Joanna Links won a spot to compete in the showmanship sweepstakes this year. She spent Saturday morning presenting ten different animals to a panel of judges.  But she isn't at the fair this year just to compete.

On Thursday night Joanna was able to honor her late uncle in a special way.  She sold the steer she has raised and brought to the fair for over $61,000.

Memorial to Uncle Freddie at the Lowell Fairgrounds

In 1983 her Uncle Freddie's steer sold at the fair for around $35,000.  But Freddie was killed in a car accident a month before the fair happened. Freddie's parents still brought his steer, Mr T, to the fair to be sold.  The money raised went towards the building of the dairy barn that stands on the current Lowell Fairgrounds. A memorial to Freddie is hung on the wall of the barn even to this day.

Joanna and her Steer, Mr. T

Fast forward to 2018 and Joanna is selling her steer at the same fairgrounds.  The name of her steer... Mr T, as well. The $61,000 she raised will go towards the building of a new dairy barn on the plot of land currently home to The Deer Run golf course.  The Kent County Youth Fair has purchased the Deer Run property and is hoping to move their operations there within the next three to five years.

If you would like to donate to the youth fair and help in their mission to expand on their new property, the organizers ask that you stop in to their office at 225 South Hudson St in Lowell.  You can also visit their website and facebook page for more info about the youth fair.

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