By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun
Forty-six animals brought in hefty sums for their owners at the Quay County Junior Livestock Sale on Saturday.
Lisa Mitchell’s reserve grand champion steer, all 1,132 pounds, netted $3,600, more than three times its estimated packer bid.
Buyers groups and individuals generously gave their support to tomorrow’s producers. In all, the livestock, from rabbits to swine, netted $72,550 at Saturday’s auction, said Janet Griffiths, treasurer of the Quay County Fair Board.
Last year’s sale brought in $74,600, said Griffiths. “It’s not a significant amount less,” Griffiths said.
There seemed to be fewer entries, she said, explaining the slight drop in sales.
Sam Robinson, whose lamb brought in $1,500, said, as he left the auction ring, “Wow, that’s pretty good.”
Some of the exhibitors will keep their prize winning animals to show at the state fair in Albuquerque before sending them to the packers.
Jack Howell of Dimmitt, Texas, who has been the auctioneer for about 30 years at the Junior Livestock Sale, said buyers pay more than market price.
“They sure do pay extra,” Howell said, “They do that to help those kids. The kids are putting up the money to go to school on.”
Taking care of an animal teaches kids responsibility, Howell said. “The kids who hates to sell an animal … they make pretty good people when they get grown.”
Howell said he enjoys coming to the Quay County Fair. Many of the adults, who are now bringing their children to the fair, were once youngsters whose animals he auctioned off at the livestock sale a generation ago.
Some of the business owners and buyers groups who purchased the livestock will keep the animals and others will sell them to a packer for slaughter.
The animals on auction were selected based on how they judged in the fair.
For example, Mitchell’s steer was judged reserve grand champion in the Class 1 Steer Show.