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Monterey teen wins steer title

MONTEREY — For the second straight year, 16-year-old Kristin Russell’s year-long process of early mornings and dedication to her steer paid off.

Russell and her steer Oreo took home the champion overall market steer award at the LSU AgCenter’s 76th annual Livestock Steer competition.

The competition, which is open to 4-H and Future Farmers of America members, pits the regional winners of livestock shows from across the state against each other. Russell went as a representative of Concordia Parish 4-H.

The Monterey High School sophomore said she was excited to once again win the award.

“This competition is always competitive,” Russell said. “I feel honored to have won, especially twice in a row.”

Russell said she is only the second person in the history of the competition to win the award in back-to-back years. She took home the trophy last year with her steer Red.

Russell said Oreo is an Angus by Maine-Anjou by Charolais steer, and she started working with him after last year’s competition to get him ready for this year.

“We usually get a new cow for the competition around this time every year,” she said. “After I won with Red, me and my dad got Oreo, and we have been working with him ever since.”

Russell said after she acquired Oreo, she went to work on getting him ready for the competition.

“It is a lot of work,” she said. “You have to feed him twice a day, wash him, practice walking with him and groom him.”

Once at the competition, the judges critique the steers on how they walk, their muscles, their tops and their fur, Russell said.

“There are around 100 steers every year that compete,” she said. “It is a tough competition.”

Russell’s work with Oreo did pay off, as she received approximately $5,000, two trophies and a belt buckle as her prize, that was after receiving $1,500 for her win at the district level.

Russell said she and her father are already looking for next year’s steer, and she hopes to continue participating in the competition for as long as she can.

“I will probably do this until I graduate,” she said. “Maybe when I have kids I can help them compete in this too.”

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