With the steer auction about ready to begin Saturday at the Manatee County Fair, the 4-H and FFA members who were showing livestock were busy making final preparations.
But it wasn't just a few hours of preparations. Those kids had been preparing for the event for quite some time.
“It’s not a day long, not a week long — it’s nine months,” said Bradenton rancher Warren Rogers, whose Big Mac steer was being shown by Lakewood Ranch's Hunter McGrath, an eighth grader at Mona Jain Middle School.
McGrath said the experience of caring for Big Mac was both fun and educational.
McGrath’s mother, Peggy Kronus, said it would be difficult to see the steer finally go after being auctioned off.
“It’s going to be sad tonight,” Kronus said. “Last night was tough, and this morning was tough.”
While the cold kept the crowd down, those who attended the fair Jan. 14 were enjoying all it had to offer.
“Very cold. Very good,” Bradenton’s Trucilla Anderson said.
The fair continues through Jan. 22.