Changing the annual Junior Livestock Auction to a Saturday instead of a weekday proved to be a successful move during the recent sale of prizewinning animals at the L.A. County Fair, which ran Sept. 12-28. Fewer animals than last year went through the sale held on Saturday, Sept. 27, but total revenue increased by $21,000 from the previous year. A total of $124,743 was brought in for 25 beef cattle, 43 market lambs, 70 market hogs, 20 market goats, 17 rabbit fryer pens and eight market veal. There were no poultry sold or exhibited this year due to the Newcastle epidemic. In 2002 market turkeys and poultry boilers were on the auction block.
These animals are raised by 4-H members, Future Farmers of America (FFA), college students and other youth involved in agriculture programs throughout California. Prior to the Fair they spend the year caring for, raising livestock as a small business venture and learning opportunity. The L.A. County Fair marks the culmination of their yearlong efforts and their market animals are brought to the fair to be judged, graded and hopefully sold. Only the top placing animals are eligible for the Junior Livestock Auction where they hope to reap monies spent and possibly make a profit to support next yearís livestock project.
Local businesses and individuals purchase the animals to support the various youth programs while at the same time are buying quality meat.
The highest prices paid are traditionally for the grand and reserve grand champions of each species.
The 132-pound supreme grand champion market lamb raised by Sarah Hanks, 16, of Templeton and Templeton FFA brought in $24.25 per pound, which was the highest price paid per pound during the sale. Buyers Nikki and Dennis Kepp of Newport Beach and Peterson Club Lambs of Nipomo, CA paid $3,201 for the Suffolk breed prize lamb.
The reserve supreme grand champion market lamb weighing 148 pounds raised by Jared Hixon, 19, of Bakersfield sold for $3.50 per pound or $518 to Michael Driebe of Pomona. Hixon is a member of the Southwest 4-H Club and his lamb was a crossbred.
A total of 43 market lambs sold for an average of $2.24 per pound paid without the champions and $2.77 with the champions with all sales totaling $16,103.
Among the 25 market beef cattle sold Julie Schmidtís 1,244 Maine-Anjou steer judged supreme grand champion market steer brought in the highest price paid per pound when it sold for $5 per pound or $6,220 to a trio of buyers: Los Angeles County Fair Board of Directors, Sheraton Suites-Fairplex and Ray Cammack Shows , the fairís carnival operator from Laveen, Arizona. Schmidt, 21, is a student at California State University, Fresno.
The reserve supreme grand champion crossbred market steer weighing 1,217 pounds and raised by Bobbi Harmoney, 20, of Pleasant Grove, CA, sold for $2 per pound or $2,434 to Jim Chapman of Manhattan Beach. Harmoney is a student at Sierra College.
An average price of $1.27 per pound without the champions was paid for the market steers and $1.44 per pound with the champions. Total sales for market beef was $44,832.
Nine-year old Lindsay Tasos of Madera, CA and Dixieland 4-H Club reaped $5 per pound or $1,300 for her 260-pound Hampshire pig that was named supreme grand champion market hog. Playland Concessions of Huntington Beach was the buyer.
The 240-pound Yorkshire pig raised by Raeshell Coay, 15, of Bakersfield and Arvin FFA was selected as reserve supreme grand champion market hog and<