Monday, June 20, 2011


As I continue with the theme of 4-H this week, I think it's important to recognize one of the most passionate 4-H kids I've never met. 

More than once, inquiring minds have asked about the boy holding the Shorthorn steer in my blog header. That strapping young kid, not even 18, is my great uncle Marvin. Marvin was the Original Jean's older brother. 

Nearly every photo I've ever seen of Marvin has livestock in it. A steer, a hog, a horse - he was a true stockman, even at an early age. 

Marvin was passionate about 4-H. He worked hard at selecting the steer that he thought would win him the purple ribbon and he spent much time with those animals to ensure docility. I rarely hear the Original Jean tell a story about her 4-H days with out including Marvin. In 1943, Jean won Grand Champion Steer at the county fair. Perhaps her greatest feat that night under the show ring lights wasn’t winning the whole deal, but beating her brother Marvin out of the competition... 
In the Beef Calf club show Wednesday evening, Jean Moyer, 13 year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Burley Moyer of Harrison Township, exhibited a 1,011 pound purebred Hereford to claim the grand champion honor in this year’s event. The Moyers kept the beef calf show in the family with Marvin, a brother to the championship exhibitor, winning champion breed honors in both the Angus and Shorthorn classes. They also won the award for showing the three best steers together. 
- 1943 newspaper clipping

Unfortunately, Marvin never made it to celebrate his 10th year of 4-H. 
One day while milking, Marvin was kicked in the groin by a Holstein cow. The severe injury developed into cancer, which claimed the life of the young stockman before his 18th birthday. 
It’s heartbreaking to think of what could have come of a young man so passionate about the livestock industry. What would he have gone on to do? 
Though Marvin didn’t live long enough to marry or start a family of his own, I’m confident his livestock legacy lives on each time one of the Original Jean’s grandkids, or great grandkids, walks in the the show ring at the county fair this year, more than sixty-five years after his death. 

And those, my friends, are deep roots. 


  1. What a tribute. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Awesome story Lindsay!

    1. Thanks Megan and Dave - It's personal but one I had to tell. Thanks for reading!