A piece of mail sent to Brett Steinhauer contains a bit of good news.
The 2011 Mohawk High School and Sentinel Career and Technology Center graduate likely doesn't know yet that he raised the grand champion dairy market goat at this year's Seneca County Fair.
Steinhauer, 18, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps but was summoned to boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., about a month early. He was unable to attend the fair, but his 7-month-old goat Spike took home the top prize in Tuesday's goat show and sold for $2,550 in Sunday's sale.
PHOTO BY PAT GAIETTO
Jackie Becker shows Brett Steinhauer’s grand champion dairy market goat during Seneca County Fair’s livestock sale Sunday afternoon.
Jackie Becker, a fellow goat exhibitor, took Spike through the livestock ring.
"He still doesn't know he won. ... We can't call him or anything," said Tiffin resident Julie Williams, Steinhauer's grandmother.
Williams, representing Spicer Creek Goats, was one of the buyers of the champion goat. She said she wrote her grandson a letter to tell him he won, but she doubted he had received it by Sunday afternoon.
"I just mailed it Friday," she said.
Williams said Steinhauer planned to be at the fair, but he was notified of his need to report to boot camp July 15 and left two days later.
"It all happened real fast. ... One week before fair starts, he left," she said.
Williams said her grandson might make a career of the armed forces.
"He will be in camp for 13 weeks, and he signed up for four years, and they told him undoubtedly he will be deployed at some point," she said.
A sign in the goat barn stated Steinhauer wished everyone good luck.
Williams said she attended Tuesday's goat show and said it was a wonderful feeling knowing he won.
"Words can't express ... because I wanted him to be here so bad, but of course he couldn't be. ... We're just so proud of him," she said.
Williams said Steinhauer has been in 4-H since he was 8, when he started showing goats, and his grandmother recalled falling in love with them.
"I now have 50-plus goats. ... My animals have done extremely well out here this year," she said.
Williams said children fall in love with goats. "It's a wonderful project for these kids, I think," she said.