COGAN STATION - When deciding what to do for a senior project, one Montoursville Area High School student decided not to do something quick and easy, but to add a little beef to it.
Hallie Gair, a senior, has been working on her project for the past two years as she has been raising a dairy-beef steer that soon will feed the community.
"I like raising and showing steer," Gair said. "And I thought we didn't need all the steer so we'd just give half of it away."
Hallie Gair, a Montoursville Area High School senior, stands with the steer that will have its beef donated to St. Anthony’s Center. The donation is part of Gair’s senior project.
The now estimated 1,100-pound steer is set to go to the butcher next week with half of the beef going to St. Anthony's Center. But Gair said there still is some work to do before he goes there.
Now that he's old enough to go to pasture, Gair said the steer has to keep eating in order to get to the biggest he can be.
The steer is being taken care of at Sky-Hi Family Farm, where Gair has been working for the past four years.
She was able to get the dairy-beef calf from a farmer down the road when it didn't look like the steer would live very long.
"He was supposed to die," Gair said. "He survived but he wasn't supposed to."
After the calf surprisingly survived, Gair said she decided to keep it and then had the idea to make it her senior project.
"Not a lot of people are going to raise cows and donate them," she said when talking about her project. "It's not normal anymore."
She also said it's most likely not on the same scale as others' projects.
"I would think it's bigger than most," Gair said.
Gair was there for all of the growing pains of raising a calf. She had to raise it to be on feed, halter break it - teaching it to walk for show - and work with it to continue to grow.
"We just feed them until they're big enough to go into pasture," she said.
At first, she said she wasn't sure what she wanted to do with the beef once it was butchered, but she recently decided it would go to St. Anthony's. Gair said she's happy with the decision.
"They were really grateful," she said. "It feels good."
Gair said she became interested in it when a couple of her friends joined different organizations such as Future Farmers of America. She said since most of her friends are in these organizations they weren't surprised at what she was planning on doing for her project.
"A lot of my friends are FFA people so they weren't too surprised," Gair said, "but a little surprised, I guess."
Gair expects about 400 pounds of beef to be donated May 1. She said she learned how hard it is to do this line of work from the experience but it's what she likes to do.
"I'm doing what I like to do," she said. "I like being around the cows."