Michael Voloshin repeats in beef
Michael Voloshin didn’t only go back-to-back; he went top-to-bottom.
Voloshin, who entered Thursday the reigning beef grand champion at the Moffat County Fair, didn’t just retain his crown with the top animal yet again in this year’s competition. He also took the reserve title.
With a resounding slap on the hindquarters of Voloshin’s top cow, a gorgeous black beast with fluffy hair, judge Zane Webster pronounced Voloshin the champ again. Then, moments later, noting that it’s not about “sharing the wealth” in these competitions, especially not with cattle, Webster declared Voloshin’s second entry the next-best animal in the competition.
“It feels pretty great,” Voloshin said. “I’m glad that all my hard work paid off, and I’m glad that the steer worked well. Couldn’t do it without my family. Everybody works, everybody helps; it’s a family deal.”
A tall but soft-spoken livestock handler, Voloshin quietly discussed the joy at repeating as champion and adding the reserve title as well.
“I worked them every day, worked their hair,” he said. “We’re able to do them up really nice, get them looking really good, and it takes a lot of hard work.”
Webster, the judge, noted that both animals were fantastic specimens.
“They were super high-quality,” Webster said. “They stood out for being good-looking, having great muscularity, I liked those things. They also had an extra pop that other steers didn’t, some bells and whistles that you don’t see everywhere.”
Webster made a point that Voloshin’s two steer were the most deserving, no matter which handler brought them forward.
“I always think these kids, they all work hard, we end up giving it to a kid to even out the playing field,” Webster said. “We want to give it to the kid with the best steer, and at the end of the day, those were my two favorites.”
At 17, Voloshin has just two more years of competing at the 4-H/FFA level. It’s not something he takes lightly.
“I think this program is really great,” he said. “It teaches our youth to be leaders, how they should act. How they should work.”
Voloshin didn’t have specific plans he cared to share about how he’d celebrate his retention of the top spot and domination of the show.
“Just go back and be pretty humble about it,” he said.
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Next week, Colorado Northwestern Community College and Moffat County are hosting a free day-long seminar for local ranchers and agriculture producers.