Kuechler enjoys being down on the farm

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By Camille McClanahan

Mattie Kuechler, a senior at Grant County High School, has been involved with farming and 4-H, working with poultry and goats, but now she has a chance to be a member of the 4-H Cattle Club, due to her initiative and the generosity of a Grant County cattleman.
Pete Short, a member of the Grant County Cattlemen’s Association, offered a Limousin-Angus mix calf to a worthy Future Farmer’s of America student.
“I belong to the cattleman’s association and we’re always talking about how we need to help the young people and get them started into cattle,” Short said.
Kuechler, a member and student advisor of the GCHS FFA, was issued an invitation, along with all other FFA members, by FFA advisor and co-op supervisor Richard Gater. Gater challenged the students to make their case to Short and other members at a cattleman’s meeting, as to why they would be a good choice to raise a calf.
“I think four or five of us arose to the occasion,” Kuechler said. “But, I guess I was the only one that really pushed through to it. I told Mr. Pete, if he gave me the calf that when the calf grows up, I’m going to give him its first calf back as payment for it.”
Kuechler was the only member who took up the challenge to attend a meeting, nonetheless her eagerness impressed Short.
 “I liked her, she was nice and she sounded real sincere, so I wanted to give her that opportunity,” Short said.“I was impressed with her and I think she’ll do a good job. Me and my wife, we were just pleased to give her one, and give her a chance.”
Kuechler named her calf Holy Cow Carol and she will be grooming her and teaching her walk on a lead rope.
“It’s a showmanship calf,” Kuechler said. “I’m going to take it to the Grant County Fair.”
Kuechler, also a four-year JROTC cadet, has considered her career options, including construction work  or automotive repair, but has just about decided on a career as a paramedic.
 “I can go to school at Gateway for two years and I can be a paramedic here in Dry Ridge. With the Ark  (Ark Encounter LLC) coming, there will be an increase in jobs like that.”
Whatever career field she chooses, her love of animals and farming is deeply rooted.
“We’ve lived on a farm for a long long time,” Kuechler said. “I’ve farmed pretty much all my life. It’s a hobby, and I don’t think I’ll be able to wash it away.”