Wastler steers toward victory

By Rosco Windon
Round Table editor

The beef steer show is a solitary, but important part of the 147th Great Frederick Fair. People from all of Frederick County come to participate in the show.

The sounds of the steers echoed in the barns and the pens as the crowd watched the show in complete silence. The judge announced the names of contestants and called up the classes of cows based on breed. The judge then analyzed the massive animals by their size, muscle and readiness to be sold, determining the market value for the buyers in the audience. The classes are established based on the weights of the steer and are shown accordingly.

Middletown High School senior Brad Wastler has been participating in the beef steer show for nine years. Wastler has entered one steer into the beef steer show this year.

“I have been doing this since I was 8 years old,” said Wastler.

His day starts out with feeding the animals, washing and shampooing them in designated stations, and bringing them back to their pens to brush them. After that Wastler fan dries the steer for awhile, and then finishes with a hair dryer. Finally he uses adhesive tape to fix the animals’ hair in place.

Show steers are usually born between March and April, and then they are sold to buyers in September. The steers are raised and looked after in preparation for the fair throughout the entire year.

“I try to avoid forming bonds with the animals and spending too much time with them because I know what will end up happening to them,” said Wastler.

Wastlers’ steer this year weighs 1,313 pounds. He is hoping to place high in judging and to be able to sell his steer and finish off his project for the 2009 beef steer show.