There is always speculation about prices and buyers at youth livestock auctions, but this year’s economy fueled that fire to a blaze.
With just a couple of animals not making weight for the lamb sale, the numbers were down from 2008 by more than 70 entrants. Perhaps the economy was responsible for the lower numbers, but despite the low entry rate, young livestock raisers had to be happy with auction results.
Jake Warntjes, Crater FFA, was a repeat winner with his lamb earning top honors in both the market class and showmanship. His 143-lb lamb sold to Stan Foley of Foley Roads, Inc., for $22 during the May 31 auction. Warntjes works hard to bring in top quality animals and the results speak for themselves.
Reserve FFA and reserve Grand Champion Hilary Risner of the Phoenix Chapter sold her 141-lb lamb for $8 per pound to perennial fair supporter Sherm Olsrud of Sherm’s Markets and Food-For-Less.
4H Champion Mikayla Childers of Bear Creek Livestock got an excellent price for her project animal. Selling in the #3 spot, she earned $17 per pound for her 146-lb lamb.
Another name that has become familiar in youth livestock projects, Christian Inkley of Valley View Livestock, was Reserve Champion 4H Champion and Champion Middle Weight. Inkley earned $11 per pound for his 128-lb lamb.
Zach Smith of Crater FFA brought the winning pen of rabbits, all 11-lb of them, earning a good check from the winning bid of $34 per pound. Jacquelyn Brown, Hop to it Gems, was reserve Grand Champion and champion 4H Roaster Rabbits. Her pen of rabbits brought $22 per pound. Selling in the #3 spot in the rabbit competition was reserve champion Charlotte Williams. Williams’ pen brought $39 per pound for the 13-lb lot.
Eagle Point FFA was well represented by top seller, Kristen Wyatt, whose 136-lb lamb brought $8 per pound. Jo-C Henderson, also Eagle Point FFA sold in the #10 slot and got an identical check with her 136-lb lamb selling for $8 per pound.
Selling in the #11 spot during the auction was Kaylin Murdoch of Eagle Point Mavericks with a 132-lb. lamb. For her efforts she earned $5 per pound. Katie Deupree sold at #18. Her lamb brought $10 per pound for the 121-lb animal. Deupree is a member of the Brownsboro Sheep Club.
Kenzee Keife of Eagle Point Mavericks sold in the #20 spot. Her 120-lb lamb brought $5 per pound. Evan Buck of Eagle Point Livestock N More received a bid of $6 for a 114-lb lamb. Emily McCollum, Mackenzie Lawrence and Dawson Lawrence, all of Butte Creek Sheep sold consecutively with animals weighing approximately 110-lbs, for $9, $6.50 and $6. Audrie Moore of Brownsboro Sheep received $4.75 for her 106-lb animal that sold in the #29 spot and Sherilyn McGahuey of Eagle Point FFA sold her 114-lb lamb for $5 per pound.
By Ralph McKechnie
For the Independent
On the average, lambs sold for $5.88 per pound, an outstanding price considering the local economy. Young exhibitors fared much better than the carnival people who spent a lot of time just sitting and watching over the weekend. Thunderstorms seemed less than conducive to drawing evening crowds, and many rides ended up with just a single rider.
The Wild Pro Rodeo did much better, with good attendance. According to Sunday morning reports, riders had a hard time staying in the saddle. One rodeo atendee suggested a supply of Poly-Grip might have helped during the performance.
Except for evening thunderstorms, the weatherman cooperated and lamb judge Clemente Ayon of Santa Maria, Ca, was fast and fair, yet spending all the time needed to properly explain the reasons for his decisions.
County fairs offer a unique learning experience to future leaders, and this one was no exception. While some exhibitors were disappointed with their finish, the exposure to good competition will improve their performance in the future.