On Saturday, the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo came to a close after its 23-day run with a champion steer bringing in close to a quarter million dollars.
More than $3.2 million was generated from the 2017 Junior Sale of Champions, which auctioned off winning animals owned by 4-H and FFA students.
The animal that traditionally brings in the most money is the grand champion steer.
The 2017 grand champion steer is Rocco, a 1,388-pound European crossbred.
"He's got a presence about him, too, like 'oh, there's Rocco!'" said his owner, 15-year-old Mikala Grady. Grady is a ninth grader at Grandview High School.
At the Junior Sale of Champions, Rocco’s bid started at $25,000, and they went up quick.
"That was awesome, you know, it's just a dream come true," Grady said.
She and her parents agreed that Rocco's profits will go towards her college tuition.
"I want to go to [Texas] A&M and attend veterinary medicine school there,” Grady said to the media, who followed her response with cheers.
In 2015, Grady also won grand champion with her barrow.
Her parents said seeing their daughter rewarded for her hard work is unparalleled.
"It's emotional," said Brad Grady, Mikala's father.
"I cried like a baby, every time she wins I do and I'm not that emotional of a person," he said. "It's awesome to see your kid get rewarded for hard work. That's going to instill in the rest of her life that hard work will get her somewhere."
The final bid for Rocco came in at $240,000. A group of women called Women Steering Business purchased Rocco. One of their founding members, and the woman holding the group’s bidding paddle, was Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.
"To be a chance for a group of strong professional women to come together and buy Mikala's steer, this is just our fifth year and in the last five years we've brought $900,000, or a little better, to the table for young women that are showing," Price said. “It’s an incredible opportunity. You know, we want to promote everybody but particularly for these gals to see the women come together and do that.”
When Mikala was asked how she was going to celebrate her winnings, she responded with a laugh, “I think we're actually going to a horse race in New Orleans.”
Rocco is being donated to the Arlington Heights FFA program. The students can keep him to study, but they also have the option to resell him.