Sy Carda Placed Second In Steer Of Merit Competition
January 4, 2023 | View PDF
Ten-year-old Lambert student Sy Carda of the 3-Buttes 4-H Club recently took second place in the Steer of Merit Competition held in Billings, MT at the Northern Hotel.
"4-H is fun and teaches me hard work and dedication, and the hard work pays off," Sy commented.
This is the fifth grader's third year in the 3-Buttes 4-H Club. He is additionally involved in shooting sports, woodworking, welding, and quilting and was awarded Best of Fair for his quilt in 2022.
"Steer of Merit is solely based on the carcass, so the judge can't really 'see' any of that," Sy's mom, Jodi Carda, explained, noting that an ultrasound was used. "Sy's steer did so well because it had a huge ribeye and intramuscular fat, or marbling. It made a prime grade cut."
There is a lot of hard work that goes into raising and readying a steer including feeding, watering, and tagging. Sy chose his steer, affectionately named Rip, in November 2021 and put a halter on him in May 2022. Initially, he began teaching the steer to lead by tying him to a post so he learned not to pull away. Then he started taking small steps, leading the animal around the corral.
"Rip and Charlie, my sister's steer, stay in the corral all winter and get fed twice a day or even more on cold days. They get used to us coming in and out of the corrals and once my dad is done in the fields in the spring, we put a halter on them and the work begins! I work with my steer morning and evening, halter breaking him and teaching him to lead. I work hours and hours with my dad in the corrals with my steer," Sy said. "It was awesome to place second in the Steer of Merit Competition because it was a steer we picked out from my dad's calves! It shows we are doing a great job on our farm."