Sizing up Steers: Local students compete for Grand Champ title

HARLINGEN — Anthony Rodelo has accepted the challenge of raising champion market steers for years.

However, this year the Harlingen High School junior faced an additional test when a knee injury required reconstructive surgery.

In spite of the pain, Anthony insisted upon walking his steer every day. His hard work paid off yesterday at the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show when he won Reserve Breed Champion in the ABC (American Breeds and Crosses) division.

“It’s pretty cool, pretty exciting,” said Anthony, 17, a member of La Feria 4-H.

More than 100 FFA and 4-H students from throughout the Valley competed yesterday in the 2016 Market Steers competition. They competed by breed — Charolais, Simbrah, Brahman, Chianina, etc. — and the breeds were divided into classes.

The livestock show isn’t just about presenting animals. Many Valley students look forward to meeting up with friends. The excitement is rather contagious as people lead their animals to pens and arenas. The low hum of continuous talking is frequently perforated by bellowing of cattle and the voices of judges belting from microphones.

“The people are so nice,” said Aimee Mascorro, 12, whose Simbrah won Champion Breed Steer.

“There aren’t many kids at my school who do this,” said Aimee, a sixth grader at South Middle School in Edinburg.

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twhitehead@valleystar.com