Fair exhibitors bring home the bacon

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Karen Bailey-Bowman/El Defensor Chieftain Mason Greenwood, Enterprise for Progress 4-H member, sets up his champion Maine-Anjou steer for bidders at the auction Saturday.

Buyers spent about $83,000 on 45 animals and one cake at the Socorro County Fair’s livestock auction Saturday, said Bethany Rosales, Socorro County Fair Livestock Committee secretary. Other contributions added up to more than $3,000 for the exhibitors, she said.

Every year, local 4-H and FFA youth raise livestock (and bake cakes) in preparation for the auction, where their projects are sold to the highest bidders, she said. This year, 45 animals and one cake qualified for the sale.

Although comparing years is difficult, Rosales thinks this year’s sale was a success.

“Last year, we had 42 animals and one cake go to sale,” she said. “This year, we had a few more animals and a few more buyers. There were different names showing, like the Tigner Cattle Company. They haven’t bought in a few years, and it was nice to see them back.”

Industrial Weed Control and Ag Country Propane were new buyers, she said. And Heather Wilson’s campaign donated a dollar per exhibitor at the sale.

“The number of total entries were down this year,” said Chad Jones, Socorro County Fair Board president. “This year, we had about half the number of pigs and steers entered, and lambs were down about a quarter from last year. We had no meat pen chicken or rabbit entries.”

The economy may be a factor, he said, as well as attrition.

“We’ve lost older kids who would show more animals,” he said. “Younger ones show fewer animals. Parents are new to the fair and want to test the waters before they commit to more than one animal.”

Four Socorro County grand champions competed for bids at this year’s auction — two steers, one goat and a cake. The grand champion lamb and pig exhibitors decided to pull their animals from Socorro’s auction to compete in other fairs. Animals can participate in only one auction, Rosales said.

Although information on all the sales is not available yet, Bethany Rosales could report on the grand champions.

Shirleen Greenwood, Scott’s Auto and A-1 Quality Redi-Mix bought Mason Greenwood’s grand champion steer for $3 per pound. The Enterprise for Progress 4-H Club member’s steer made over four thousand dollars at the sale.

Mavericks 4-H member Senaida Romero’s 1,190-pound county bred steer brought in over $3,800. Don Tripp and his daughter Kim Gonzales paid $3.25 a pound for her steer.

Tigner Cattle Company bought Tumbleweed 4-H member Rawlin Apachito’s grand champion goat for $1,000.

Dick Ritter’s Special Buyers Club pooled their money to buy Ashlie Jojola’s champion cake for $1,075.

Brice Rosales will be showing his grand champion pig at the state fair later on in September, she said. Rawlin Apachito and Deanae Monte will be showing their grand champion lambs at the state fair and the Eastern New Mexico fair in Roswell in October.

A complete list of livestock sale buyers and exhibitors will be published in El Defensor Chieftain on Sept. 19.