Ag auction brings high prices

August 09, 1997


Staff Writer

After a year of preparation and a week of showing, 4-H exhibitors sold their animals Friday in the market animal sale at the Ag Expo.

Buyers arrived from all around Western Maryland to participate in the sale and support the 4-H clubs.

"Kids are washing their animals, changing into their show clothes and some are preparing emotionally to sell their animal, but I don't know that it'll make a difference," said Jeff Semler, Washington County 4-H extension agent.

The first animals up for auction were the beef steers. Auctioneer C. Floyd Davis of Williamsport said the highest market price these steers usually receive is 66 cents per pound.


The grand champion steer owned by Melissa Frey, 14, sold for $2 per pound. The steer, Petey, is a British Cross -an Angus and Hereford mix - weighing 1,287 pounds. He was bought by Bragunier Masonry of Clear Spring.

"He's a heavy steer. The more they weigh, the lower the price," said Frey of Williamsport. "I'm sad because he did well for me, but there were also the times when he wanted to jump and everything."

She said she would use the $2,574 to pay for this past year's feed and veterinarian bills and if there is money left over she'll use it toward next year's steer.

The auction price for steers ranged from $1 per pound to $2.50 per pound. Semler said the lowest price paid was well over market price.

Market lambs were the next animals up for auction. Davis said the market price for lambs is 90 cents per pound. The lambs went for $1.60 per pound to $7.50 per pound.

Juliana Bruksch, 10, sold her 121-pound grand champion lamb for $7.50 per pound to ReMax Realty of Hagerstown. She's going to put her money in a savings account for college.

"It's my third year doing it, so I'm not sad right now, but it hits you right when you leave," said Bruksch, of Smithsburg.

Some exhibitors smiled as they showed their animals around the ring to potential buyers, but Jamie Beckley, 9, cried the entire time she led her beef steer Bingo around the ring.

"I've been working with him since December," she said, sniffling.

A nine-year veteran of exhibiting, Richie Hebb, 16, said he will miss his beef steer, Bocephus.

"I'm sad. I'm going to miss it, probably when they load him up on the truck," he said.

He's going to put the money toward college, he said. This is his last year he's showing because he's going into the U.S. Marines.

The exhibitors get to keep all but 5 percent of the money their animals earn. The 5 percent goes toward publicity pictures for buyers, pays for advertising and it paid for the new scale building and the scales inside, Semler said.

Dairy steer, goats and meat pen rabbits were also sold at the auction.

"The auction's excellent. I can't ask for anything more," Semler said. "It's been a real strong sale so far with strong support."

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