Canby teen finds satisfaction in raising steer
When Canby High senior-to-be Wade Sandberg walks slowly around his market steer, Bart, there's a certain pride and respect for the work that's gone into raising it.
And Sandberg isn't alone in the barns at the Clackamas County Fair, as 4-H and FFA programs throughout the county are working hard to get their animals ready to show. And the process has plenty of steps.
"You need to walk him around and get things set up," Sandberg said. "We've been to other shows to get him used to people being around and the show ring. We have to wash him and trim him up to get ready."
Sandberg usually arrives at the barns about 8 a.m. and stays all day, typically leaving around 8:30 or 9 each night. And in between, there is care needed for not only Bart, but the stall he's occupying. In short, there's plenty to do between show ring appearances.
This is Sandberg's second year in FFA, having been involved in 4-H for about four years previously. In 2020, after working with sheep, he decided to switch to steers, which necessitated a jump into the Canby FFA program.
His work with Bart has been rewarding.
"It's really cool to watch the progress in an unruly steer that's never had a halter on, then to be able to walk around and he's just fine," Sandberg said. "It takes about a year to get them to that point."
Bart is three-quarters simmental, one-quarter angus and his destiny is the auction block, where Sandberg hopes to recoup the cost of raising the steer, as well as provide enough money to buy a young one for the future.
"You just want to make your money back and have a little left over," he said. "It's pretty spendy, but I think it's a lot of fun."
Sandberg also is a member of the Canby High trapshooting team.
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