At 8-months-old and 800 pounds, steers will give a year of lessons for 4-H teens

Julia Bayly, Special to The County
7 years ago

Few things can put a goofy look on a steer’s face like a good tail brushing. (Staff photo/Julia Bayly)

Few things can reduce a 800-pound adolescent steer into mindless bliss like a good brushing, especially when the brush gets to the tail. Which is why the two newest bovine members of the McCrum farm in Washburn looked more like half-asleep puppies than muscular baby beef Saturday afternoon.

Grace McCrum, 17, is a fourth generation participant in the Aroostook Valley 4-H Baby Beef Club. Like her sisters, mother, grandfather and great-grandfather, she has raised calves into beef steers over the course of a year and on Saturday, with the arrival of “Admiral,” an 800-pound Hereford Steer, it begins again.

Admiral was greeted by Sugar, an 800-pound Hereford-cross steer who is being raised by 15-year-old Lila McCrum — Grace’s younger sister — as part of her own 4-H baby beef project. Sugar had arrived on the farm earlier in the week.

During this upcoming year, Grace and Lila McCrum will spend countless hours in all kinds of weather feeding, watering, tending, grooming, training and hanging out with the bulls getting them ready for their ultimate goal — the show ring at the annual Northern Maine Fair in July.

And by then, both should weigh over 1,400-pounds.

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