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Members know months of work culminate in a single word: Sold!'

FFA, 4-H

March 11, 2001|By ANTHONY LONGORIA, Staff Writer

IMPERIAL — Robert Anaya Jr., 14, stood patiently with his arm clenched around his lamb, Dusty.

"Five dollars!" was all that was intelligible from the flurry of sounds the auctioneer made.

A few buyers inconspicuously made their bids, prompting the auctioneer to continue his incoherent song.

Within seconds it was all over — months of work culminated in a single word: "Sold!"

Nearly 400 animals passed through the beef arena at the California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta's junior livestock large animal auction Saturday as hundreds of local 4-H and FFA members showcased their animals in hopes of enticing a buyer to purchase their animals.

The Dune Co. purchased Dusty for $7 per pound, a price Robert said would give him a nice profit.

This was his fourth year representing Westmorland's Family 4-H at the fair, and he has been saving every penny made since then for college.

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Dusty, a gray and white crossbreed lamb, came into Robert's life four months ago. Since then, Robert has had to feed and care for the lamb as well as work with Dusty to prepare for showmanship.

"You have to teach the animals to do everything," said Robert.

Competitions earlier this week allowed Robert to show in auction. Those who don't qualify for the auction could still make a profit during the barn sale Saturday.

Robert's parents, Robert Sr. and Gloria Anaya, said they were proud of their son for making the auction and praised the benefits of their son's involvement in 4-H.

"It's a good thing," said Robert Sr. "You're keeping your kids busy and out of trouble. Their minds are always occupied and they're doing some good."

Gloria Anaya said, "It teaches a sense of responsibility."

The Anayas had been at the fair since 8 a.m. Saturday to prepare for the auction, which included grooming the animals. Daughters Angelica and Jessica also raised animals for the fair.

Handling volunteer settlement services for the auction was Valley Independent Bank, which covered both the livestock auction and Friday night's small animal auction.

Through VIB, children are provided with receipts detailing their profits, including deductions to the junior livestock foundation, the fair and processing fees.

Checks are provided two weeks after auction, said VIB representative Sonia Quinn..

Quinn said the auction average prices are affected each year by the financial climate of the agriculture market because farmers make up most of the auction's buyers.

"If (farmers) had a good year, it boosts what they spend out here," Quinn said.

Buyers spent $934,3417 at this year's auctions for the small and large animals and in the barn sells, according to Bill Gay of Reliance Communications.

For the small animal auction buyers spent $238,846. In the large animal auction buyers spent $577,126. In the barns, buyers spent $118,369.

As of presstime Saturday information was only available from the fair media center on how much the supreme grand champions and reserve supreme grand champions earned for their swine, sheep and steers.

Jacob Jones of Pine 4-H earned $7.50 per pound for his supreme grand champion pig; Shaylan Ashley of McCabe 4-H earned $21.50 a pound for her reserve supreme grand champion pig. The average swine sold for $5.80 a pound

Jerika Finnell of Imperial 4-H earned $41 a pound for her supreme grand champion lamb; Enrique Brown of Tri-City 4-H earned $38 a pound for his reserve supreme grand champion lamb. The average lamb sold for $8.81 a pound.

Justin Hannon of M&M 4-H earned $.7.50 a pound for his supreme grand champion steer; Reno Terribilini of Holtville FFA earned $9 a pound for his reserve supreme grand champion steer. The average steer sold for about $3.50 a pound.

Information on whether the supreme and reserve grand champions got the highest prices was unavailable Saturday. That information was expected to be available Monday.

Staff Writer Anthony Longoria can be reached at 337-3452.

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