SPRINGFIELD — A 12-year-old Morris girl needs a bigger piggy bank.
Shaelye Varner showed the grand champion steer at the Illinois State Fair, then sold it at auction for a whopping $100,000 — shattering last year's fair record of $62,000.
AT&T, Monsanto and DeKalb Asgrow combined to bid for Varner's crossbred steer.
Fair officials say $100,000 would have bought almost every animal in the sale of champions just four years ago. This year, the auction netted more than $260,000 for the kids who raised the animals, as well as the 4-H and Future Farmers of America programs, which each receive 10 percent of the proceeds.
Shaelye says she's been showing since she was 5 years old. She plans to save her money and use it for a future career in livestock.