Girl sweeps Goliad Livestock Show with family help
March 19, 2011 at 10 p.m.
Updated March 18, 2011 at 10:19 p.m.
GOLIAD - Keli Miller pulled the halter lead over her shoulder and pulled her steer, Cash, hoping to replace him with some real cash at the Goliad County Livestock Show Saturday afternoon.
She'd earn plenty between her reserve champion steer, reserve champion turkey and grand champion heifer.
As if she wasn't going to be on stage enough, Keli also walked away with a Herdsman Award for having one of the best-kept pens at the livestock show. And for good measure, Keli was just crowned Miss Goliad.
"I like being competitive and having the hard work pay off at the end of the year," the 17-year-old Goliad High School student said.
Keli said she's been that way since her first livestock show at the age of 9, when her steer won grand champion.
Since then, almost year-long dedication to her animals has paid off.
After school and track practice, she'll typically feed and care for her animals until 9 or 10 in the evening, Keli said.
"Honestly, you have to work with them every single day. You can't let just one day go."
Keli also credits her family with her success, and said they instilled in her the enthusiasm to raise animals.
In particular, she said she followed the footsteps of her older sister, Ashley.
"It's like a family tradition," Keli said.
Ashley, 22, agreed, saying she believes the family has been so successful at livestock shows because of their teamwork.
"We all live on a 200-acre ranch - grandparents, uncles, our family - we all help out," Ashley said.
Ashley was there Saturday, helping her sister prepare the animals. Ashley, too, is a former Miss Goliad.
"I think she kind of grew up following me, so as soon as she was of age (to show at the livestock show), she just followed it," Ashley said.
Keli said her sister is actually the one who, after her first livestock show, stunned Keli when she let it slip that her steer was going to be slaughtered.
Keli cries every year, she said.
"You get really attached," Keli said. "I hate letting them go."
But by now, she knows the routine.
"I already have my steer picked out for next year," Keli said.