Wednesday, November 25, 2015 • 02:17

Kertz takes supreme grand champion at fair

July 09, 2014
For the second year in a row, Zachary Kertz earned supreme grand champion honors for market beef at the San Diego County Fair.

Kertz, who graduated from Valley Center High School last year and competed at this year's fair in his alumni year, won the highest market beef award with a 1,275-pound steer called Double D.

"Hard work and time putting into my animals paid off for me the last two years," Kertz said.

This was Kertz's fifth year entering steers at the fair. This year he entered two black steers: Double D and a 1,172-pound bovine called Zig Zag.

The first level of competition is at the class level. Double D won the 1,260-1,280 pound black class. Zig Zag was third in the 1,160-1,180 black class.

The grand champion and reserve champion from each class then compete at the division level. One division is for Future Farmers of America members and the other division is for 4-H and Grange members. Kertz was the FFA grand champion while Eli Martineau of Valley Center 4-H won 4-H grand champion honors for his 1,366-pound steer.

The division grand champions and reserve champions are entered into the competition for supreme grand champion and supreme reserve champion. Kertz took home the supreme grand champion honors and Martineau was the supreme reserve champion.

"I couldn't have done it without all the family and friends who have helped me," Kertz said.

Kertz obtained both Double D and Zig Zag in September 2013. Double D was about seven months old at the time and Zig Zag was about six months old. Double D was acquired from the Colburn Cattle Company, which is in Visalia, and Zig Zag was obtained from Cattle Ranch Paradise of Cedar City, Utah.

Kertz added a first-place result in the market beef showmanship competition before placing eighth in master showmanship for all large animals. He and his Knowledge Bowl team partners earned fifth place.

The fair's livestock auction took place July 5. Double D was sold to Southern Contracting Company of San Marcos for $7 per pound. A 4-H or FFA member can only sell one animal at auction; any additional animals are either sold in a barn sale or taken home for future activities. Kertz will enter Zig Zag in the Ramona Fair later this summer.

Kertz currently attends Palomar College. He plans to transfer to a four-year university to focus on agricultural business or livestock management and hopes to open his own cattle ranch.

"If you put in the time and dedication into an animal you're going to achieve whatever you want," Kertz said.

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