Junior livestock sale brings in big money

Lainey Widner, 13, of Melrose, laughs as she looks to the audience before bidding starts on her lamb Curley during Friday’s junior livestock sale at the Curry County Fair. Curley sold for $1,500. Curley during Friday Junior Livestock Sale at the Cur

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer

The Curry County Fair’s junior livestock sale took in about $275,000 on Friday, a 12 1/2-percent increase from the year before, organizers said.

The largest individual take went to Jennifer Blackburn, 17 of Grady. Her grand-champion lamb was co-purchased for $5,900 by One Stop Feed, Inc. and Elite Show Supplies.

The sales figures are unofficial, but Curry County 4-H Agent Les Owen said they were about $30,000 more than last year’s total of $244,590.

Lovita Hale of One Stop Feed, Inc. said she likes to buy animals at the annual auction as a way to give back to a community that has been good to her.

Her business provides much of the feed used to raise the show animals.

“It makes us feel good when we can see the grand champions and the reserves,” she said. “It makes us feel good about our products.”

Hale’s company contributed in other ways at the fair by purchasing reserve-champion belt buckles and contributing $10 to the sale of every animal in the auction.

“Most of the kids are our customers, and they are like family to us,” Hale said.

She said the entire community of raisers and feeders are close, and everyone appreciates the efforts of everyone else. That’s why the community continues to produce so much money for the animals.

“A lot of people have been very generous to come up with that kind of money,” she said.

Brittany Anderson’s grand-champion dairy heifer, Misty, was purchased by the Portales Livestock Auction for $3,750 on Friday night. The heifer was bred by Larry Hancock of Prarieview Dairy.

“I’ve been selling dairy heifers for two years and selling animals for about eight years,” the 16-year-old Texico resident said.

Anderson said she raised a grand-champion swine a year ago.

“It (the money) will go to college,” she said.

Anderson said she may study some kind of agriculture science in college, but she’s not sure.

Other big winners Friday were Heather Blackburn of Grady, who sold her grand-champion steer for $5,000; Curtis Williams of Texico who sold his grand-champion swine for $3,400; Amanda Riley, whose grand-champion rabbits went for $1,400; and Dylan Porter of Grady, who took $2,100 for his grand-champion poultry.