July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Lodi girl raises grand-champion market steer

MEDINA — Thirteen-hundred pounds is a lot of bull. Just ask 4-H member Emily Klotzsche.

The 15-year-old Klotzsche, of Lodi, raised the grand-champion market steer at this year’s Medina County Fair.

Emily Klotzsche, 15, of Lodi, is pictured with her grand-champion market steer Okeechobee on Friday morning in a barn at the Medina County Fairgrounds. The steer weighs 1,336 pounds. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY STEVE GRAZIER)

The steer, named Okeechobee, weighed in at 1,336 pounds.

“He’s a pretty big eater,” Klotzsche said.

She said Okeechobee consumes 30 pounds of grain a day, with a side order of hay and lots of water to wash it all down.

Okeechobee is 15 months old, and Emily said tending the steer takes up about seven hours of her day.

“In the summer, I’ll wash him three times a day,” she said.

She thinks all that work will pay off. She hopes to sell Okeechobee for about $3,350, or $2.50 per pound, at today’s Junior Fair Livestock Sale.

“That’s what last year’s grand champion got, so yeah,” she said.

Her steer also won the advanced showmanship presentation at the fair, Emily said.

Emily , who will be a sophomore at Cloverleaf High School, said her love of animals is a big reason she joined the 4-H group Cattle Rustlers. She has five cows at this year’s fair, and one of her heifers won supreme champion.

“I like the competition at the fair and other livestock shows,” she said.

Although raising cows is a big part of her life now, Emily said she’s interested in social work as a future profession.