The 74th Annual Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction kicked off with the sale of the Grand Champion Market Steer. This year’s prize-winning steer was purchased by the Big Tex Champion Club with their generous bid of $130,000. The preliminary amount raised for Texas youth in today’s auction is more than a record-breaking $1.9 million.
With 322 steers competing in the Youth Market Steer Show this year, earning the Grand Champion title was no easy feat. After hundreds of steers and hours of judging, the final decision was made; Aven Horn from Jones County 4-H, age 17, took home the grand prize for her winning steer, “Blondie”.
Georgia Bezner from Dallas Hartley County 4-H sold her Reserve Grand Champion Market Steer to State Fair Concessionaires and State Fair Rides and Games Operators for $50,000. The Grand Champion Market Barrow, owned by Camryn Clift of Randal County 4-H, sold to the Briscoe and Carpenter families for a record $63,000. Wesley May of Tom Green County 4-H sold his Grand Champion Market Broiler to the Friona Industries for $16,000.
History was made this year – for the first time, the Grand Champion Market Lamb and the Grand Champion Market Goat were owned by the same exhibitor, Madden Wise of Brown County 4-H. Les and Amy Ware Foundation purchased the Grand Champion Market Lamb for $30,000. The Grand Champion Market Goat went for $27,000 to Frank Deel.
An annual tradition since 2015, full-time employees of the State Fair of Texas pitch in to purchase an animal in the auction. Continuing that tradition for the seventh year in a row and purchasing a record three animals, the State Fair team bid on a Breed Champion Market Lamb owned by Paige Winstead of Springtown FFA, for $5,200, a Reserve Breed Champion Market Steer owned by Charlie Tusa from Falls County 4-H for $6,000, and a Market Barrow owned by Tinsley Camacho from Goliad 4-H for $3,100. Because the Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Program truly embodies the State Fair’s mission of promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement, the team feels very passionate about contributing to this cause.
Supported by community leaders and local businesses, the annual Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction is a representation of the extreme dedication put forth by the exhibitors participating, along with the planning and efforts of the passionate individuals who organize the event. The auction is considered the heart and soul of the livestock department, in a typical year, the Youth Livestock Auction brings families and friends together for an occasion that benefits the community in addition to providing fairgoers with some good old-fashioned fun. Approximately 3,000 entries from around the state competed for one of the coveted 470 spots in the Auction this year. The students who earn a spot in the Auction get to sell their animals to the highest bidder. Students then receive a previously determined maximum payment for their animal, with all excess proceeds donated to the Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Program. The Program benefits students who have competed in youth livestock events at the State Fair, as well as students attending high schools in the Fair Park area. Through the Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Program, the State Fair has awarded more than $30 million in auction awards and scholarships.
The State Fair congratulates all the students who participate in its youth livestock competitive events and is happy to support them in their pursuit of higher education through the Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Program. The State Fair of Texas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and does not receive any government funding or support. Its nonprofit purpose is funded through the proceeds from the annual State Fair of Texas event. The net proceeds from the Fair are used to help preserve and improve our home, Fair Park; underwrite museums, community initiatives, and scholarship programs to support students throughout the Lone Star State pursuing higher education; and help improve State Fair operations – to help put on the next great State Fair of Texas. Help support the Fair’s mission of celebrating all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment by attending the State Fair of Texas, running through Sunday, October 23.