Janesville57.3°

Showmanship helps boost prices at Rock County Fair meat sale

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Jason Smathers
July 31, 2010
— By the time Greta Arndt made her way to the sale area, buyers seemed a bit sheepish in throwing out bids for the steers.

While most bids were at least 10 cents above the 88 cents per pound market price, most were selling at about $1.10 per pound.


All it seemed to take was a little showmanship. Arndt shook her sign, prodding and pleading the buyers to go higher. Even after she had eclipsed the highest price at that point, she urged bidders to climb higher.


It paid off. Both her Simmentals sold for $1.65 per pound.


Similar prodding from


the auctioneers helped drive up the price of Hillary Huisheere’s grand champion steer, which eventually sold at $4 per pound for a whopping $5,188.


During the beef carcass bidding, one auctioneer leaned near potential bidders to nudge them.


“It’s a good one, I’ll help you eat it,” he said.


Although final numbers were not available as of press time, UW Extension dairy and livestock agent Randy Thompson said buyers pushed total sales over the $300,000 mark and brought in prices well above market price for nearly every animal.


“With the champions, it takes a little bit as far as a build up, but they were above average for the last 10 year period, from that perspective,” Thompson said.


“We really had a strong sale, tremendous community and buyer support, even with the economy being somewhat down.”


The overall success of the sale still hovers between figures for the last two years. Total head was 572, 32 more than last year’s numbers but still down from 2007 and 2008. Sale averages for barrows were 30 cents less on average than last year.


However, grand and reserve champions exceeded most of last year’s sale numbers.


This year’s champion lamb, a 130 lbs. crossbred, sold for $8.50 per pound, an increase of $3 per pound from last year. The grand champion barrow sold for $12 per pound, for a total of $3,252.


Youth selling the animals receive the sale amount minus 1 percent commission.


Rock County Meat Animal Sale


Steers: 85


Average price: $1.10 per pound


Market price: $.88 per pound


Barrows: 377


Average price: $1.50 per pound


Market price: $.50 per pound


Lambs: 110


Average price: $2.50 per pound


Market price: $1.02 per pound


Grand Champion Barrow


Name: Ali Luety


FFA or 4-H chapter: Bradford 4-H


Sale amount: $12 per pound


Total amount, buyer: $3,252, Woodman’s


Reserve Champion Barrow


Name: Dessa Morris


FFA or 4-H chapter: Bradford 4-H


Sale amount: $5.50 per pound


Total amount, buyer: $1,386, Ott Schweitzer


Grand Champion Steer


Name: Hillary Huisheere


FFA or 4-H chapter: Clinton FFA


Sale amount: $4 per pound


Total amount, buyer: $5,188 Seneca


Reserve Champion Steer


Name: Garrett Kietzman


FFA or 4-H chapter: Clinton FFA


Sale amount: $2.15 per pound


Total amount: $2,846.60, I.G. Hall


Grand Champion Lamb


Name: Jessica Duoss


FFA or 4-H chapter: Milton FFA


Sale amount: $8.50 per pound


Total amount, buyer: $1,105, Woodman’s


Reserve Champion Lamb


Name: Molly Deegan


FFA or 4-H chapter: Evansville 4-H


Sale amount: $3.50 per pound


Total amount, buyer: $486.50, Jeff and Patty George



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