June 11--It pays to be an exhibitor at the Colusa County Fair's Junior Livestock Auction.
"Though she be but little, she is fierce," Shakespeare wrote in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Despite being a little county, the support for agriculture is fierce among its fewer than 22,000 residents -- and this year, that support hit historic levels.
2014 will go down as the year of the first million-dollar Junior Livestock Auction at the Colusa County Fair, after it grossed about $1.007 million on Saturday. It fell just short of the mark last year.
"This is an awesome sale, an awesome community," said Colusa resident Tim Gomes, one of the auctioneers for the day. "It's one of the strongest (junior) livestock auctions in the state."
This year marked the third consecutive year of record-breaking sales for the auction, which grossed about $750,000 two years ago and nearly $950,000 last year.
The livestock auction was a dream come true after months of hard work by many local 4-H and FFA youths.
"This just shows the kind of community we live in," said Gomes. "The amount of support we have is tremendous. The kids are blessed to live here."
For the Sale of Champions alone, the auction raised over $77,000 -- most of which will go back to the young exhibitors who raised the animals.
The supreme champion market hog, raised by Colusa 4-H member Alexis Hernandez, sold for $23/lb. The reserve supreme champion market hog and reserve champion 4-H market hog were raised by Maxwell FFA's David Lee and Colusa 4-H's Jerry Gonzales, respectively. Both sold for $17/lb. Lee had another hog named the FFA reserve champion, but livestock exhibitors are only allowed to sell one animal at the auction.
For market steer, Austin Traynham (Maxwell FFA) earned supreme champion -- and his 1,300-plus pound animal sold for $8.10 per pound. Reserve Supreme Champion went to Hailey Traynham's (Maxwell 4-H) 1,263-pound steer, which sold for $6.50/lb. Bailey Morrell, a Maxwell 4-H member from Willows, sold his 1,294-pound champion 4-H market steer for $9.75/lb. The reserve champion in that category, a 1,182-pound steer raised by Brayden Steidlmayer (Colusa 4-H), sold for $5.75/lb.
Luke Myers's goat (Arbuckle 4-H) was named supreme champion of the market goat category and sold for $15.50/lb. The reserve supreme champion (Vaughn Myers, Arbuckle 4-H) sold for $14.75/lb. The champion FFA market goat (Justine Otterson, Stonyford Grange) sold for $11.50/lb, while the reserve champion for FFA (Sarah Marsh, Arbuckle FFA) sold for $15.25.
For market lambs, both the supreme champion and FFA reserve champion lambs belonged to Fallon Freed (Maxwell FFA). The supreme champion sold for $18/lb. The 4-H champion (Matthew Williams, Arbuckle 4-H) and 4-H reserve champion (Katy Williams, Arbuckle 4-H) sold for $19.50/lb and $19/lb, respectively.
For the first time in the Junior Livestock Auction's history, turkeys were auctioned this year. Angel Grajeda (Colusa FFA) earned the distinction of raising the first supreme champion turkey, which went for $35/lb. The reserve supreme champion (Cheyenne Laux, Colusa FFA) sold for $40/lb. The champion 4-H turkey (Tylor Gerrard, Colusa 4-H) sold for $42.50/lb., and the 4-H reserve champion -- a 21.3-pound bird -- (Helena Weston, Williams 4-H) sold for a whopping $90/lb.
For the "meat birds" (chickens), the supreme champion (Kaitlyn Talbot, Arbuckle 4-H) sold for $100/lb, the reserve supreme champion (Michael Grimmer, Arbuckle 4-H) for $110/lb.
In the fryers (rabbits) category, the supreme champion (Garrett Grimmer, Arbuckle 4-H) brought $125/lb. The FFA champion (Jessica Godinez, Arbuckle FFA) brought $115/lb, and the FFA reserve champion (Samuel Martinez, Cousa FFA) for $100.
(c)2014 the Colusa County Sun-Herald (Colusa, Calif.)
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