Steer numbers down, but not entrants’ spirit

PALMETTO — There were 56 steers in Thursday’s Manatee County Fair Steer Show, down from last year’s 86.

Hogs are also down in numbers — 98 this year to 138 last year.

Long time 4-H volunteers Hugh Taylor and Roger Hill said the economy might have something to do with lower livestock numbers. After all, it costs about $2,000 to buy and raise a steer.

But it would take more than a down economy to stop 17-year-old Clint Thum, 15-year-old Maria Mathews and 18-year-old Dylan Horn, all of whom raised steers this year despite the economy.

The Dow Jones also didn’t prevent Zackary Quattlebaum from raising his 1,248-pounder steer, which won Grand Champion on Thursday.

“The judge said Zackary’s steer was the complete package,” said Danny Alfonso, steer barn supervisor.

Reserve Grand Champion went to Courtney Wingate.

After 10 years of presenting at the fair, Clint, who is attending both Lakewood Ranch High School and Manatee Technical Institute to learn welding and fabrication, is finishing his career with Elmer, a 1,251-pound steer. Clint took fourth in his class.

“Doing this has helped me build my character and has taught me responsibility,” said Clint, who started in arts and crafts at age 8 and has worked his way from hogs to steers. “It’s also taught me to take it and have fun. Winning is great, but learning new things is what life is really about.”

“Anyone who needs help, Clint is there,” said Jessica Bailey, a member of Lakewood Ranch FFA.

Clint, who lives in Myakka City with his parents, Stephen and Cindy, said he will stay in Manatee County after he graduates, become a welder and volunteer with upcoming 4-Hers with every available minute he has.

Maria, who took third place in her class with handsome Cornbread, a 1,125-pound steer, is a Palmetto High student who netted $7 a pound for her steer last year. She’s hoping to repeat this year.

“How high you place in the show determines your sale position during Saturday’s steer sale,” Maria said.

Dylan, who took second place in his class with David, a 980-pounder, made a commitment and is seeing it through, said his mother, Shauna Horn.

“4-H is a lot of work,” Shauna Horn said. “It’s a family thing, not just a kid thing. The parents provide the feed and front the expenses hoping to be paid back when the steer sells. Manatee County has a great tradition of this.”

Steer show results

@BR Boxtext bold lede colon:Grand Champion: Zackary Quattlebaum

Reserve Grand Champion: Courtney Wingate

First Place County Calf: Chloe Bunyak (breeder is George and Temple Bunyak)

Second Place County Calf: Austin Cavey (breeder is Gene and Tamara Wingate)

Third Place County Calf: Junior Cattleman 4-H Club steer (breeders are Craig and Laura Wolfe)

Order of finish

Class 1: Kelley Jorgensen, Dylan Horn, Katie Huss, Dawson Groover

Class 2: Kara Varnadore, Elaine Mason, Jorge Corbitt

Class 3: Alyssa Johnson, Tyler Harper, Kaylee Betts, Dustin Glassburn

Class 4: Emily Melchior, Chisom Thum, Brandon Ferris, Theresa Simunovic, Kayla Alexander

Class 5: Zack Wiedeman, Chandler Hill, Dalton Dewey, Haylee Casey, Brandon Adams, Cody Meador

Class 6: Kalleb Johnson, Morgan Hill, Maria Mathews; Palmetto FFA, Shannon Heiden; Jordan Pascuzzi; Rebecca Neal

Class 7: Austin Cavey, Margaret Duryea, Haile FFA, Michaela Hostetler; Dylan Humphrey, Andrew Rohani, Luke Ingram

Class 8: Rose Wardell, Sammy Jo Rudd, Bubba McDonald, Kristin Hutton, Haley Yancey

Class 9: Zackary Quattlebaum, Coy Godwin, Jessie Embach, Clint Thum, Aaron Shuman

Class 10: Casey Wingate, Chloe Bunyak, Garett Lundy, Destiny Elder.