The great thing about young livestock exhibitors is that they offer diverse perspectives. This month we shine our Sure Champ® Junior Spotlight on two young people who excelled at their respective state fairs this summer: Payge Dahmer and Dustin Denton.
Payge Dahmer is the daughter of Cory and Amy Dahmer. She made lasting memories at her final Missouri State Fair as an exhibitor. Payge claimed both the Grand and Reserve Market Lamb banners this summer in Sedalia.
Dustin Denton is the son of Angie and John Denton. A cattle exhibitor, he excelled in both the breeding heifer and market steer shows at the Kansas State Fair. Dustin showed the Supreme Champion Female, which was the Champion Commercial; the 4th Overall Steer, Champion Hereford; Champion Hereford Heifer, and won the Champion Senior Beef Showman honor. He and his brother Wesley raised both the Herefords that won champion banners.
Get To Know Payge Dahmer & Dustin Denton
Let’s learn a little more about these outstanding livestock exhibitors, their goals, passions and how they look up to their older brothers.
Tell us about yourself.
PD: I’m Payge Dahmer, and I’m from Nevada, Missouri. I’m 21 years old and I am a senior at Pittsburg State University. I have two older brothers, Payton and Paxton Dahmer. I began showing livestock when I was 5 years old as both of my brothers also showed. My family has been very involved with livestock for many years, so it was only fitting that I got involved, too.
Throughout high school I was involved in 4-H, FFA and played basketball, which led me to a basketball scholarship at Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri, after high school. I played at Crowder for two years before I transferred to Pittsburg State University to begin nursing school.
DD: My name is Dustin Denton. I am 17 years old and live in Blue Rapids, Kansas. I am currently a Junior at Valley Heights High School. I serve as the President for our FFA chapter and the Secretary on the Northeast District Officer Team. I also enjoy playing basketball, golf, and participating in the all-school play.
I first began “trying” to show as soon as I was able to walk. My first actual competition was at the Junior National Hereford Exposition in Kansas City as a Pre-Pee Wee. My mom, brother and whole family have really been my support team through it all, pushing me to be the best I can.
What species/breeds do you show?
PD: Over my show career I have shown both pigs and sheep. However, for the last three years I have only had sheep in the barn. I have a variety of breeds this year, including crossbreds, hamps and a natural color.
DD: I am a 4th generation Hereford breeder and show registered Hereford heifers and steers that we raise. For the past three years, however, I have also enjoyed branching out and showing Angus and a Chianina.
Which Sure Champ® and Vita Charge® products do you use?
DD: I like to let my cattle have access to the Vita Charge® Stress Tubs, regular and HEAT®, depending on the time of year. During show season I often use Climate Control Gel to keep them cool and support their digestive health.
What are the biggest benefits you have seen using our products?
PD: During the hot summers in Missouri, it’s important to ensure that the animals stay hydrated and stay on feed. Both the Liquid Boost and Climate Control Gel have played a crucial role in helping our sheep deal with the 100+ degree weather, especially during the final push into the state fair.
DD: The biggest benefits I have witnessed are their increased appetites, helping to get them to drink water and just overall keeping their digestive system functioning at full capacity.
What is your favorite show and why?
PD: My favorite show is the Arizona National Livestock Show. I may have only shown there once before I aged out, but I liked the fact that the show was so laid back and competitive.
DD: My favorite show is the Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE). Even though Grand Island and Louisville may be my favorite fairgrounds, I also enjoy seeing other parts of the country as well. I also really enjoy the JNHE because of my Hereford family and all the love and support I have received over the years.
What is your favorite pre-show ritual?
PD: I don’t necessarily have a pre-show ritual, but my brother and I like to talk about my sheep and what needs to be done before they are ready to hit the ring.
DD: My favorite pre-show ritual has got to be either jamming out to music or drinking a full can of pop to get me ready for the show ring.
What are your plans for the future?
PD: I will be graduating nursing school in May 2025, and I will begin my career as a Registered Nurse.
DD: My current plan for the future is to go to Kansas State University and attend Vet School. After I receive my DVM, I hope to specialize in embryology work while staying close to home to continue raising and selling high quality females.
Who is your biggest role model and why?
PD: My biggest role models are my two older brothers, Payton and Paxton. They have taught me the true meaning of hard work. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their constant guidance and support.
DD: I have many role models that have really defined who I am today. I have to say the role model who has made the biggest impact, however, has probably been my brother, Wesley. Throughout the years, I have always looked up to him, whether it be his fitting skills in the chutes or what he accomplished in the show ring. The best part is, he will continue to be my role model and partner for years to come.
What is your favorite/greatest accomplishment?
PD: While the wins have certainly been great throughout my show career, I would say my greatest accomplishment is the relationships and skills that showing has provided me that will last well beyond my time in the ring.
DD: I like to separate my accomplishments into how “I” do, for example showmanship, versus how my “cattle” do. My biggest accomplishment in showmanship so far is winning Champion Intermediate Showman at the American Royal. As far as my cattle go, I am most proud of exhibiting the Supreme Female at the Kansas State Fair.
Did you have any special or major achievements from this summer that stand out?
PD: The Missouri State Fair is a show that has been special to my family for countless years. To be able to win both Grand and Reserve Market Lambs this year was pretty special to us, especially since it was the last time one of the Dahmer kids will exhibit there.
DD: This summer my brother and I exhibited the Reserve Grand Champion Bred and Owned Steer at the JNHE. We also showed a Reserve Champion Division in the horned heifer show.
Are You Prepped to Win?
At BioZyme®, home of the Sure Champ and Vita Charge products, we are proud of young livestock enthusiasts like Payge Dahmer and Dustin Denton. They know the value of hard work. They realize it takes a team, and that team is often made of our own family.
They use products from BioZyme to keep their animals’ digestive health on-point and to #PreptoWin. We know that 70% of immune response starts in the gut. Therefore, a healthy digestive system leads to a healthy animal.
The BioZyme Difference
BioZyme has always valued creating safe, accurate products that support champions. Dustin and Payge know that from experience. Our quality processes are not only the most rigorous and effective in our industry, but also part of our mission for Care the Comes Full Circle.
In addition, our products are backed by over 65 years of research. We choose to invest in research so we can be forward-thinking and innovative while staying ahead in our commitment to Care that Comes Full Circle.
We are also committed to sharing our resources to make a difference through advocacy for the sustainability of agriculture along with animal and human well-being.
Looking for a Champion?
Did you enjoy this quick look into the lives of Payge and Dustin? Interested in seeing us shine a light on more awesome Junior exhibitors? Submit your champions, here.