Years of caring for his steer culminated in his biggest 4-H win so far for Christopher Coblentz. The 12-year-old Rocky Ridge 4-H member received the coveted Grand Champion Market Steer honors Wednesday at The Great Frederick Fair, and sold for $9,268 on Thursday at the livestock auction.
“I feel pretty good,” Christopher said, “but it was pretty nerve-wracking when the judges was walking around the ring looking at other steers. I thought he wasn’t paying attention to my steer. I’ve won a lot of shows, but this is my first grand champion.”
Christopher said his steer was the biggest one in its class, “and that’s what the judge was looking for. I feed him pretty good, and it takes me about two hours to make look pretty and on spot.”
Christopher’s 1,324-pound steer was bought by three local companies — Krietz Auto Repair and Sales, Krietz Show Cattle and Able Communications Inc.
Dalton Mackenzie’s 1,190-pound Reserved Grand Champion steer was bought by T.M. Jacobs Auctioneering for $3,8750.00.
Wolfe Industrial Auctions bought Madison Bollinger’s 125-pound Grand Champion Market lamb for $1,812.50. South Mountain Creamery paid $701.50 for Kendra Keeney’s 122-pound Reserved Grand Champion Market lamb.
PNC Bank paid $4,921 for Mickinzi Ferguson’s 259-pound Grand Champion market hog, and Marchwicki Excavating bought Jocelyn Figgins’ 265-pound Reserved Grand Champion market hog for $1,192.50.
Local companies are extremely generous with their support of local agriculture, said Colby Ferguson, Frederick County agriculture development specialist, and the supporters include banks, construction companies and local families.
“We believe in the future of agriculture, and you have to support the young people to make that happen,” said Mary Jane Roop, of Mid Atlantic Farm Credit.
Keymar residents Lloyd and Virginia Taylor, who also bought an animal to support Johnsville 4-H member Sydnie Grossnickle, said they believe in what 4-H teaches children.
“This sale is not reality,” Lloyd Taylor said, referring to the animals’ cost. “The extra money gives them something to start with next year.”
Patty Long-Young said the youngsters are not given enough credit for the hard work involved in caring for the animals and completing other 4-H and FFA projects.
“It’s called responsibility and dedication,” Young said. “I wish people realize not just what 4-H and FFA stand for, but what the industry means. These kids are the future of America and American agriculture.”
Caring for the animals is a year-round chore for the youngsters, Long said.
“It’s not a day here or a day there,” Long said. “The kids should be recognized more for what they do, and even with the economy what it is, the turnout for 4-H and FFA events has been phenomenal, and that goes to show that people in this community care.”
Long said parents and grandparents should be applauded as well for keeping the county’s agricultural legacy alive.