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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn congratulates Shaelye Varner, center, on her grand champion steer at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, Ill.

Justin L. Fowler, Associated Press - Ap

Girl, 12, sells champion steer for record $100K at Illinois State Fair

  • Associated Press
  • August 13, 2014 - 2:46 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A 12-year-old Morris girl needs a bigger piggy bank.

Shaelye (SHAY'-lee) 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.

© 2014 Star Tribune