October 9, 2011
WAYNESFIELD — Danielle Heintz has some unusual interests for a 15-year-old girl. The Waynesfield-Goshen High School sophomore spends most of her time with cattle.“I'll be getting a calf in October or November,” Danielle said. “Then I'll raise him until next August.”While that may not sound like much, the process of raising the calf into an award-winning steer takes a lot of time and patience.“I have to break them to walk and teach them how to behave,” she said. “That's in addition to feeding them and washing them.”Closer to fair time, Danielle washes her steers up to three times per day.“I guess I'm doing something right because I won Grand Champion Steer at the Ohio State Fair the last two years,” she said.Of course, after spending all that time with her steers, she finds it hard to sell them. “It's hard when you have to work that hard to get them to act right and look right,” she explained. “You do get attached, but it is a way of life. This year, I only cried for an hour after I sold my steer.”Danielle is very committed to showing steers.“I quit all my sports to show steers all year and be competitive,” she said. “I pursue a lot of agricultural things and am very competitive in what I do.”It's not surprising with Danielle's love of livestock that she wants to some day be a big-animal veterinarian.“My favorite class is animal science,” she said. “I think it's really interesting to learn all about the animals.”So far, she has not decided on which school she will go to, but knows that it will be a long road.“Becoming a vet takes a lot of years,” she said.Besides being involved in 4-H for the past eight years, first showing sheep and now focusing solely on steers, Danielle also belongs to FFA.Although her interests are not typical for most teenage girls, she likes to spend her free time the way many teens her age do.“I like to hang out with my friends and my boyfriend,” she said.