HARRISBURG – A York County teenager on Sunday won top honors in the 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show Grand Champion Junior Cattle competition with a 1,385-pound crossbred steer named Krueger.
For the second time in three years, Karli Berkheimer won the prestigious award and will sell her winning animal at the Sale of Champions on Tuesday. Berkheimer, an eighth-grade student at Northern Middle School, has been showing cattle since she was a little girl.
“I named him after Freddy Krueger,” Berkheimer said, referring to the fictional serial killer in “The Nightmare on Elm Street” film series. “Actually, he’s usually calm and seems to like the Farm Show.” Krueger beat 40 other steers for the top prize.
Charlie, a 1,380-pound crossbred owned by Amy Pecora of Harrison City, won reserve grand champion honors.
Berkheimer lives on a 50-acre farm in Carroll Township, where she and her family raise 50 beef cattle. The 14-year-old started showing heifers when she was 5 and has been showing cattle ever since.
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“I belong to the FFA and to the York County 4-H beef, lamb and swine clubs,” she said.
She appeared relaxed during the final judging when the nine champions and reserve champions of the various classes and their owners came into the arena. She seemed overwhelmed when the beef cattle judge slapped her gleaming black steer’s rump to signify the win. Berkheimer, her family and friends planned to go out for a celebratory dinner.
Pecora, 17, seemed equally pleased to receive the reserve champion honor, her best win in nine years of competing at the Farm Show.
“Charlie is super tame, almost like a puppy,” she said. Pecora and her family live on a 132-acre farm where they raise beef cattle and swine and grow corn, soybeans and hay. “I’m really happy to be back at the Farm Show,” she said.
Mike Firestine, junior beef cattle show announcer, said the event went well. “We’ve been pleased with the quality of animals and the showmanship,” he said. “We’re pleased to be back.”
The champion and reserve steers, hogs, lambs and meat goats will be auctioned at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Sale of Champions in the Small Arena. Farm Show buyers traditionally pay substantially more than market price for the grand champion animals.