A total of 172 prize-winning market livestock raised by 4-H and Grange members, Future Farmers of America, college students and other youth involved in agriculture programs throughout California were sold off during the annual Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the L.A. County Fair in Pomona, which ran Sept. 9 to Oct. 2. The auction annually marks the culmination of a yearlong project for youngsters learning about small business enterprise and livestock care.
Though the total number of animals sold this year was less than the 224 auctioned in 2004, the amount buyers paid increased for market lambs, goats, hogs, poultry and turkeys.
“The auction is all about kids. The 4-H, FFA and Grange members as well as the college students are the future of our community. I felt the buyers that came out this year really saw the importance of investing in these kids. It was something they truly wanted to do by supporting this auction,” said Dick Minot, the Fair’s auction coordinator.
This year 44 market lambs sold for an average of $2.52 per pound without champion prices factored in and $2.82 with champion prices, compared to the 47 market lambs which sold for 91 cents and $1.15 per pound last year respectively. Market goat prices jumped from 71 cents per pound to $1.98 without champion prices and 89 cents per pound to $2.28 with champions. This year 29 goats were sold compared to 26 the previous auction.
Continuing, market hog average prices jumped to $1.50 per pound without champions and $1.53 per pound with champions for the lot of 73 sold this year compared to 90 market hogs auctioned off at average prices of $1.32 and $1.35 respectively.
Turkeys, which are not sold by the pound, averaged $115 to $168 for the seven sold this year compared to a range of $75 to $84 paid last year for 20 turkeys, without and with champion price calculations. Seventeen poultry broiler pens went up for bid this year and brought in an average of $138.24 with the champions and $108.33 per lot without champions. This is an increase from the averages of the previous year of $117 and $102 respectively when 13 poultry broiler pens sold.
The 1,318-pound Supreme Grand Champion Market Steer raised by 18-year-old Liberty High School FFA member Andrew Taffera of Bakersfield reaped the top price paid overall when it sold for $5 per pound, or $6,590, to a group of four buyers: Ray Cammack Shows of Laveen, Arizona; Sheraton Suites Fairplex hotel of Pomona; the Los Angeles County Fair Board of Directors and Fairview Farms, an entity of the L.A. County Fair. His brother Phillip Taffera, 14, from the same FFA chapter, sold his 1,333-pound Reserve Supreme Grand Champion Market Steer for $2 per pound, or $2,666, to Mike Taffera of Bakersfield.
Buyers purchasing the 17 market steers in the sale paid an average of $1.41 per pound without champion prices and $1.66 per pound with the champions, slightly less than 2004 totals.
The 149-pound Supreme Grand Champion Market Lamb raised by 9-year-old Tyler Walker, a Monte Vista 4-H member from Chino, reaped the highest price paid per pound during the sale when it sold for $13 per pound, or $1,937, to FairView Farms.
FFA member Sarah Hanks, 18, of Templeton received $5.50 per pound, or $737, for her 134-pound Reserve Supreme Grand Champion Lamb purchased by Dennis Repp of Newport Beach. Repp bought the Supreme Grand Champion Market Lambs at the 2003 and 2004 auctions.
Second highest price per pound was brought in by the 105-pound Grand Champion Market Goat raised by 15-year-old Carrie Willoughby of Nipomo. The Arroyo Grande FFA member received $8.50 per pound, or $892.50, for the top-placing goat, which sold to Kathy Nelson of Alta Loma and Patrick Pardue, also from Alta Loma.
The 125-pound Reserve Grand Champion Market Goat raised by Kelli Johnston, 16, of Rivers