Jul 31, 2015

Park County Junior Livestock Sale breaks record, again

For the fourth year in a row, local youth received a record-setting amount of money for their animals at the 2015 Park County Fair’s 4-H and FFA Junior Livestock Sale.

The sale generated $428,933 for a couple hundred youth. That's up nearly $39,000 from the $390,146 chipped in by local residents and businesses last year,  said Joe Bridges, chairman of the annual sale. The nearly 10 percent increase is significant considering that only one more animal was sold in 2015 (227) than 2014, Bridges said.

Olivia Wells of Powell shows her goat at the Park County Fair Junior Livestock Sale . Her goat was named champion for beginner 4-H showmanship. Cody News Co. photo by Gib Mathers
“Across the board, our averages are up,” Bridges said, tipping his hat to the community for providing the monetary encouragement to the kids.

There were more bidders than previous years and “it was a great turnout,” Bridges said. He said people and businesses bidding on the stock know the importance of supporting youth.

The average hog sold for $6.77 per pound, compared to $6.21 last year. The highest price for a hog was the $15.50 per pound paid by Bob and Vicky Curtis and Stan and Nan Curtis. They bought a pig raised by Daniel Beaudrie of Cody, who was injured in a motor vehicle crash in the Wind River Canyon in March.

“He (Beaudrie) worked hard and he went through a lot this year,” J Bar 9 office manager Vicky Curtis said. “And, we wanted to help.”

The prices for the Junior Livestock Sale are above market value, but buyers want to support the youth who invest great effort in raising their livestock and then surmount the pressure associated with showing animals, Vicky Curtis said. She said the purchases contribute to the young people’s futures in agriculture.

The highest price paid for a steer was $5.75 per pound, paid by Cody's Woodward Tractor and Rental, Inc., to Hayden Bronnenberg of Powell. The average price was $3.78 per pound, compared to last year’s average price of $3.50 per pound, Bridges said. 

A champion beginner 4-H showman lamb raised by Brooke Bessler of Powell fetched the highest per-pound price at $15. That was the winning bid from the Cody's Cascade Services, LLC. The average lamb sold for $10.11 per pound, up from $9.72 a year ago, Bridges said.

Cascade Services also paid the highest price for a goat, bidding $17.50 per pound on a animal from Kalli Ashby of Powell. Ashby’s goat had placed resident champion intermediate 4-H showman. The average for goats was $9 per pound in this year's sale, up from $8.58 in 2014.

With Val Murray assisting her, 5-yeaa-old Darci Jo Shuler presents a blue ribbon to Sara Reed (right) during the fair's Market Beef Show. Reed’s 1,336-pound steer won the Market Beef Medium Frame Division, Class 2, and later was declared the overall champion of the show. Cody News Co. photo by Ilene Olson
An overall grand champion rabbit from Powell's Annie Price fetched the highest price among those animals, with Metzler and Moore Realty and Swensons Auctions of Powell paying $450. The average price was $387.50 per head, down slightly from an average of $396 in 2014, Bridges said.

The youth who present at the Junior Livestock Sale search near and far to locate the best animals to rear and those animals enjoy the finest feed and care, Bridges said. While raising their prize-winning animals, the youngsters broaden their work ethic and business skills.

“A majority of those kids are going to use that money to go on to college,” Bridges said.

The livestock sale youth are tomorrow’s agriculture leaders, Bridges said, adding, “These truly are the future of what we’re trying to do here.”


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