An animal raised on an Atlantic area farm won the “Super Bull” title at the Iowa State Fair. Sampson is a three-year-old Red Angus bull who weighed-in at 2,893 pounds.
Sampson was raised on the Alan and Brenda Zellmer farm, near Atlantic. Twenty-two-year-old Gage Zellmer, the son of Brenda and Alan, says it was surprising to the family how big Sampson grew, and how fast.
“Honestly, what happened was we had him running with some younger bulls that we were trying to bulk-up, and kind of lost track of him. All at once, we realized ‘Holy Cow,’ he’s huge. So we decided to pull him in and really start cranking him up on feed and decided we’d try the Super Bull deal.. We’d never done it, never been around it, but just decided we’d try it,” Zellmer says. Gage says it takes a lot of time and feed to make a bull that huge.
You wouldn’t think it would be easy to lead around an animal that weighs more than a VW Beetle, but Gage says he was amiable enough once he got used to the idea –still, he can be determined.
He says they broke him to lead two months ago after having some doubts, but he tamed right down. “the one thing about it — if he wants to go somewhere — he’s going there. You don’t change his mind,” Zellmer says. Sampson is the largest bull the Zellmer’s have ever raised. He’s also the first big award the family has won at the State Fair.
The big, purple ribbon will be hang in the family’s office. Farming has been in the blood for the Zellmer family. Alan Zellmer has been farming on his own since he was 14. The plans for Sampson’s future are uncertain at this point. “I don’t know, I guess we really haven’t talked about it, we didn’t know if we were going to win it or not. There was another competitor there that had a very,very, very large bull that we though was going to may beat us,” Zellmer says. “So, we really didn’t talk about it to be honest, we didn’t talke about it. He’s not headed to McDonalds yet.”
You can see Sampson at the Iowa State Fair in the barn near the Livestock Pavilion, through the last day of the fair on August 23rd. Look for the sign out front, that reads “Super Bull.”
A bull from Prescott named “Chubbs”, finished in second place at 2,652 pounds
(Reporting by Ric Hansen, KJAN, Atlantic/photo courtesy of the Iowa State Fair)