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Sale closes Expo

August 09, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

"Dollar bill, dollar bill, I need a five. I need a five-dollar bill, dollar bill. Five. ... I got a five. Anyone, a 10, 10, 10, 10, 10. Ten, anyone. Fifteen, a dollar, 15, anyone, a 15; 10's what I got, we need 15. Fifteen. ... Twenty, 20, you got a 20 dollar 20 ..."

The auctioneers rattled off prices for the beef steer, notching them up in 5-cent increments when buyers winked or waved. Later in the night, dairy cows, goats and pigs would be sold as well.

The steer fetched as high as $2.80 a pound for beef steer and averaged about twice the average market price for the remaining cattle, making for happy youngsters who had spent up to eight months working with their animals for the Washington County Ag Expo market sale.

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Travis Rhoton, 12, of Williamsport, showed two steers Friday night before the crowd, fetching $1.35 a pound for his first, which weighed 1,378 pounds. He would take home $1,860.30 for the bovine.

"It went pretty good," Rhoton said after his first steer. "He walked fairly well. ... Except he didn't want to stand still for the picture."

Rhoton said he was pleased with the price he was paid.

"It's a lot better than last year," he said.

Generally speaking, the larger an animal is, the less money per pound it costs.

Forty-nine beef steer, 54 swine, 38 market lambs, 13 dairy steer, 12 capons (roosters), 15 meat goats, four dairy goats, and three groups of rabbits were auctioned.

Steer were the animals of choice for John Moser, 51, of Hagerstown. He was in charge of bidding for a Boonsboro auction company. Most of the buyers Friday were private companies that would either re-auction the animal later or slaughter it for food that would be given as charity.

Moser said he was basing his choice mainly on how the livestock looked, but "you could buy one of the best cows and the meat could be terrible; it could be tough. It's a chance you take," he said.

Doris and Charles Rankin of Cearfoss said they had come for a fun evening.

"It's just a place to kind of relax. Enjoy it," Charles Rankin said. "You meet a lot of friends, talk, socialize."

Some youngsters had become attached to the animals they were about to sell, making for an emotional night.

Ryan Corgard, 8, was with his grandfather, who has a small farm near Downsville. Ryan and his sister had been working with four goats for a few months.

While Ryan said he'd had a good time raising his goats, "I wanna keep them as my pets, but then I have to sell them," he said. "It makes me very sad."

Trenten Smith, 13, was about to sell his pig, Angelina.

"She knows what's going on," he said.

Knowing that in a few minutes he'd be without the pig, he said, "I'll probably cry."

Ryan's grandfather, George Rhodes, said he had a long perspective on the event. He had been in 4-H as had his children and their children.

"It's fun. I like to see all the kids with the animals. ... It reminds you of your children over again," Rhodes said.

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