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When buyers nod, it's high hopes for big bucks at the junior livestock auction

March 10, 2002|By LAURA MITCHELL

Staff Writer

IMPERIAL — "Hey boys, here ya go now; what do ya say?"

"Lookie here boys, how about it?"

The auctioneer prodded, the buyers nodded and students hoped for big bucks at the large animal junior livestock auction at the California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta Saturday.

Eleven-year-old Skyla Ashely of McCabe 4-H got $15 a pound for her 253-pound pig.

Skyla said she will use the money to buy a horse. She and her 14-year-old sister, Shaylan, show horses. Shaylan raised last year's reserve champion swine.

Nicole Richardson, 19, of Mount Signal 4-H got $25 a pound for her supreme champion crossbreed swine, Allie. Allie weighs 256 pounds. Richardson will use the $6,400 for college and to help buy a car.

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Richardson said she spends about an hour every day working with her livestock and goes to school at Imperial Valley College.

Lacy Hagen of Calipatria FFA said raising a steer takes a lot more time. The 15-year-old said she's had to spend all her time when she's not in school raising her champion Brahma crossbreed, aptly named Major Pain.

"When we bought him he got sick and lost 200 pounds. Then he got better; then he split his back hooves but now he's healthy," Lacy said.

Major Pain can be difficult. Once he's in the arena he's fine, but Lacy said he's run over her a couple of times.

Her break-even sale price was $2 a pound.

"With the auction, it's all about how many letters you send out," Lacy said. "I sent out 40."

The letters are sent before the fair to local farmers, feedlots and supporters such as the Brandt and Young families, letting them know what you have for sale, she said.

Lacy said she won't miss Major Pain after he's gone.

"I live on a ranch with a lot of animals. I understand it's a part of life," she said.

In the large animal auction, total sales were $638,019.

Two hundred swine were sold, totaling $368,516; 24 head of cattle were sold, totaling $135,035 in sales; and 104 sheep were sold, totaling $134,468.

The average price for the swine was $7.44 a pound, for beef $4.63 a pound, and sheep $9.93 a pound.

In the small animal auction, sales totaled $150,380.

There were 24 cavies sold, totaling $7,225 in sales; 62 calves totaling $104,805; nine goats totaling $4,225; 19 poultry totaling $12,100; and 46 rabbits totaling $22,025.

>> Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or lauramitchell9@yahoo.com.

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