Illinois' First Lady Buys Elmwood Teen's Champion Steer

Aug 14, 2019

A Peoria County teenager’s grand champion steer was the target of a bidding war between Illinois’ governor and first lady at the state fair yesterday. 

Governor J.B. Pritzker and his wife, M.K., faced off in a bidding war for 13-year-old Cole Caldwell’s Grand Champion Steer, Lucius. 

“He’s the one who raised it, yep, and just did a terrific job. We met him beforehand, got to take a look on what we were bidding on, and then I guess M.K. decided she was going to go take me down," Pritzker said.

M.K. Pritzker purchased the steer for $75 ,000. 

The governor discussed their plans for the steer after the auction. 

“Either on the front lawn of the mansion, or in our stomachs, one way or the other. Actually, as you know, much of the meat goes to the Central Illinois Food Bank, which is very important," he said. 

The Elmwood teenager says he plans to use the money to fund a college education and future livestock projects. He says he hopes to farm side-by-side with his grandfather one day.

Each of the 10 Grand Champion exhibitors also received $5,000 scholarships from CME Group.