Kenzie Martinez didn’t expect it at all when she won grand champion steer at the Victoria Livestock Show. Then, she went on to the show’s auction Monday night to sell the steer for $8,000.

A Victoria East High School sophomore and member of the Inez 4-H, she has participated in the Victoria Livestock Show for years.

From the stock selection a year ago to Monday night’s auction, her family was by her side — even her brother who helped hold a photograph of her steer on the auction stage. Her relatives who live hours away in the Rio Grande Valley also supported her throughout the year. But despite the distance, her grandparents still made the drive to see their granddaughter show in Victoria.

“They don’t miss a beat,” Kenzie’s mom, Tiffany Martinez, said.

The year of preparing began when she traveled to The Valley to purchase her steer. Her grandfather helped her select one from a family-friend.

Throughout the past year, unknowns cropped up because of the pandemic. But Kenzie was able to show at the 75th annual Victoria Livestock Show.

In years past, during spring break she has also shown animals in Mercedes, close to where the rest of her family lives.

After a year of waking up early to feed her steer, Kenzie said “you just have to be kind, love and care.”

The usual work involved with raising livestock added a last minute challenge when the winter storm knocked out electricity and water forcing Kenzie to carry buckets of water to her animals in the early morning. To keep them warm and on their consistent feed schedule, she and her family even drove to Gonzales and New Braunfels to keep hay supplied.

Her work culminated in her first grand champion steer, but added to her accolades like her sweepstakes heifer in 2016 and being crowned Young Queen Victoria in 2017.

When the auction began in the Victoria Community Center dome, exhibitors walked the stage for buyers, but without their animals in tow. Because of COVID-19 protocol, the animals were not allowed to return to their pins after the judging

Tables were full of buyers representing various businesses and individuals from the region as auctioneer Vance Runnels sped through bid amounts in true auctioneer fashion.

As exhibitors stood on stage decked out in their finest Western wear, many of them held large photos of their show animals and their prize winning banners in place of their animals. Many also held handwritten posters including those that read “Aggie Family,” “UT girl,” “Help Wanted” and “Thank you for supporting our agriculture industry.”

Bidders threw up their pink bid cards at the same time as the virtual bidders for 257 live animals and carcasses.

The champion and reserve champions animals were sold to the following high bidders

Steers

Kenzie Martinez’s grand champion steer sold to Victoria Outlaws for $8,000,

Bennett Janssen’s reserve champion sold to Atzenhoffer Chevrolet for $6,000,

Shelby Pletcher’s champion carcass steer sold to Mac Haik for $7,000,

James Rung’s reserve champion carcass steer sold to Dennis and Terri Leita; Jerry and Rhonda Leita; Premier Grain; Keith Orsak; Michael and Britnie Leita; Wayne and Miranda Leita; John and Meghan Leita; New Distributing; Bruce and Sandy Hill; and Capital Farm Credit for $8,500,

Hogs

Nathan Adamek’s champion hog sold to Atzenhoffer Chevrolet; Prosperity Bank; and H-E-B Plus for $6,500,

Haley Gardner’s reserve champion hog sold to H-E-B Plus for $4,500,

Reilly Amsler’s champion carcass hog sold to Jerry and Mary Steves for $8,000,

Emily Green’s reserve champion carcass hog sold to Mac Haik for $7,500,

Goats

Magi Jo Cantu’s champion goat sold to Mac Haik for $4,500

Hunter Portales reserve champion goat sold to Dierlam Feed Store and Victoria Outlaws for $2,750,

Lambs

Coyt Miller’s champion lamb sold to Texas Farm Bureau Insurance for $4,000,

Tatum Johnson’s reserve champion lamb sold to The Specialty Group for $4,500,

Cullen Stumfoll’s champion carcass lamb sold to Atzenhoffer Chevrolet, Prosperity Bank, and H-E-B Plus for $4,500,

Taylor Yogi’s reserve champion lamb sold to Victoria Auto Dealers for $6,000,

Rabbits

Kodie Foster’s champion rabbit sold to H-E-B Plus for $5,500,

Hayden Seitz’s reserve champion rabbit sold to Victoria Business Friends for $3,500,

Broilers

Jack Osburn’s champion broiler sold to Victoria Business Friends for $5,000,

Weldon Bowers’ reserve champion broiler sold to Friends of Victoria County Youth for $5,250.

On Saturday, the Victoria Livestock Show will mail auction receipts and buyers’ information to exhibitors. Add-ons will be available until Friday on the livestock show’s website at victorialivestockshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/ADD-ON-FORM-2021.pdf. Buyer and add-on checks will then be available for pick up at the Victoria County Extension Office, 528 Waco Circle.

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Geoff Sloan reports on business and breaking news in the Crossroads region. He received his Bachelor's in international relations with minors in journalism and French from Texas State University. Reach him at gsloan@vicad.com or @GeoffroSloan on Twitter.

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Business Reporter

Geoff Sloan reports on business and breaking news in the Crossroads region. He received his Bachelor's in international relations with minors in journalism and French from Texas State University. Reach him at gsloan@vicad.com or @GeoffroSloan on Twitter.

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