split image of laurie cuevas with tommy and fred balawender and tommy with gwr certificate

Standing over 1.87 m (6 ft 1 in) tall, Tommy isn’t your average steer. 

In fact, the handsome 13-year-old bovine from Cheshire, Massachusetts, is the tallest living steer.


Tommy has lived with his family since he was just a day old.

Although he was a large calf, his family never anticipated that he would grow as large as he did. 

“He just kept on growing and growing,” said Tommy’s owner Fred Balawender’s daughter, Laurie Cuevas. 

He and my dad always had a special connection, and he became a really large, well-loved pet right away.

Tommy is a purebred Brown Swiss steer.

They are commonly one of the largest of the dairy breeds and are typically big, sturdy cows that originated in the Alps.

Fred occasionally enjoys raising calves. 

He purchased Tommy at a large dairy farm in 2010, effectively saving him from going to auction. 


“Tommy was named after Tom Brady who at the time was the quarterback for our beloved New England Patriots football team,” said Laurie.

The GOAT steer is named after the GOAT quarterback.

People frequently joke about eating Tommy, but Laurie insists that he is a pet and will even be buried on the farm when he passes.

Despite his size and his enormous horns, Laurie says Tommy is a gentle giant and has a calm and peaceful demeanour. 

Brown Swiss are known for their kind and docile disposition and Tommy is no exception. 

The fact that he is a steer (a castrated bull) is part of the reason why he is so easygoing since bulls can be extremely dangerous and unruly. 

Tommy loves people and is especially fond of children and will gently put his head down so they can reach out to pet him. 

“He is always very aware of where my dad is and watches him intently whenever he is around,” said Laurie. 

He has always been gentle and friendly and the love and care he has received from my dad is evident.

Tommy’s daily routine includes eating three times a day (or more). 


He consumes approximately 30 pounds of dry grain, over 75 pounds of hay, and drinks 35-40 gallons of water per day. 

Although he is able to roam the pastures and eat fresh, green grass, he has had a sore foot for a while so hasn’t been wandering as far. 

“We have had special hoof experts and veterinarians work on him but it’s a long, slow healing process when they have issues with their hooves,” said Laurie. 

“Especially a heavy animal like Tommy.”

Tommy is crazy about apples and will have one whenever he has the opportunity. 

“My dad will go to the market and spend all his money on apples,” said Laurie. 

Tommy also cruises the pasture for wild apple trees and is so incredibly smart that he knows how to push against the trees and shake the apples down.


He usually does all the work while his chubby cow friends run around and eat all the apples before he has a chance to!

Tommy also enjoys cinnamon buns and will eat carrots only if all his other favourite treats are gone.

In his spare time, Tommy enjoys eating, taking long naps, or relaxing by chewing cud. 

Although Laurie says now that he is getting older, he has slowed down quite a bit. 

People always ask what Tommy’s job is, but Laurie says he was never trained to pull anything or do any kind of farm work. 

“I always explain that Tommy’s job is to keep my dad young and active, and he clearly takes his task seriously,” she said. 

It is worth noting that my dad is almost 80 and he still outworks most men half his age.

Luckily the family’s barn ceiling is high enough to accommodate the super-tall steer. 

However, the family can only estimate how much Tommy weighs. 


“We are frequently asked how much he weighs but we can only guess,” said Laurie. 

We have a very large cattle trailer that is 7 feet high, and he cannot fit in it so we are unable to transport him to bring him to a scale.

However, Laurie says Tommy is quite content to stay where he is.

Fred and his son even built him his own huge stall in the barn, which he quickly learned to manipulate. 

“Tommy has been known to use his horns to pluck the gate off the hinges when he is ready to go outside,” said Laurie. 

“One day he was walking around with the large round bay hale feeder on his head.”

People who see Tommy are truly surprised by his breathtaking size. 

“People are truly astonished when they see him,” said Laurie. 

I have known him his whole life and he still impresses me every single time I see him.


Laurie says her dad being short adds to the charm of the pair being together. 

“I always see comments referring to folklore legend Paul Bunyan and his giant ox Babe,” she said. 

I affectionally call my dad ‘small Bunyan.’ No matter where my dad goes, he is frequently recognized as the guy with the giant ox.

Fred was ecstatic when he was contacted by Guinness World Records. 

He was so proud of Tommy that Laurie decided to submit the evidence to have his record title verified. 

“He loves Tommy so much and is so proud of him, I had to go for it,” said Laurie. 

“The two of them are legendary and I knew it was a chance to capture them in history and share this wonderful pair with the world.”


When the duo received their Guinness World Records certificate, Tommy was looking over Fred’s shoulder the entire time. 

When Fred opened the award, he held it up, and Tommy tilted his head as if he were reading it himself. 

“I had tears in my eyes, it was the sweetest moment,” said Laurie. 

Then it was apple time! After that, my dad got out his special huge garden rake and gave Tommy an excellent back scratch. They are so cute together.

However, Laurie says the best part of Tommy’s newfound record title is discovering the hunger in the world for a kind and respectful relationship between a man and his animal. 

She says people from all over the world have commented on Tommy and her dad and have even sent love and happy thoughts. 

“To say we are thrilled doesn’t do it justice,” said Laurie. 

“We are so honoured and happy that we have such an amazing creature amongst us and can’t wait to see him in print!


See Tommy in Guinness World Records 2024 - on sale soon!

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