Raising A Steer

by Christa Lollis

The Nacogdoches steer show got started today but for students with animals, the work started more than a year ago when they bought them. For Russell Carrell, it's a passion that he's just recently developed. He says, "I really just wanted to get started in it and I got my first show steer and I started to raise him and became a big pet and I mean I just got connected." That was two years ago. Since then he's raised a handful of steers and along the way has learned what makes a steer a good show animal and how to pick the best ones. "You gotta find the pretty ones. They have to have the market type meat but you want one that stands out because that judge is looking at him and it's his opinion and you want one that just blows him away," Carrell explained.

But picking the animal is the easy part. Then comes early mornings and long hours of getting them ready to show. But along the way, they go from being an annoying animal, to being a member of the family. "They love me and they know every morning when I turn on the barn lights that I'm there and I'm going to play with them. I'm going to feed them and then when I get home everyday they know I'm there, they stick their head up once I walk through the door and they're there ready to play." He also says, this experience has taught him hard work and dedication. Not a bad early start, for a guy who plans on being a vet.

If you want to check out all the animals, the rodeo begins tomorrow with the announcement of the grand champion steer and an auction. Events will continue through Saturday.