Going once… Going twice… Sold! In honor of the 66th Annual Youth Livestock Auction, the State Fair of Texas® kicked off the event with a record-setting sale of the 2014 Grand Champion Market Steer. For the second year in a row III Forks® Steakhouse joined hands with the Big Tex® Champion Club to place the highest bid on the prize-winning animal; a generous $112,000. As the official sponsor of the Big Tex Champion Club, III Forks not only provides support for the winning exhibitor, but for all young exhibitors participating in State Fair livestock events.
After years of hard work and preparation, 14-year-old Payton Herzog took home the grand prize for his winning Shorthorn steer, Buzz. A member of the McLennan County 4-H, Payton has competed as a livestock exhibitor at the State Fair of Texas for the past six years. The Herzog family resides in Robinson, Texas and has exhibited livestock projects at the State Fair for two generations. A first-time winner, Payton plans to continue competing in livestock events and will put the auction winnings toward his college fund. In the future Payton hopes to attend Texas A&M University and study Agriculture Business.
Montgomery FFA member Bailey Carwile sold her Reserve Grand Champion Market Steer to Superior Trailer Sales Company for $40,000. The Grand Champion Market Barrow, owned by Kutter Meador of Potter County 4-H, sold to Atmos Energy for $14,500. State Fair Midway Ride and Game Operators purchased the Grand Champion Market Lamb for $15,000 from Toree Fraze of Comanche County 4-H. The Grand Champion Market Goat, owned by Aspen Martin of Mason County 4-H, went for $15,000 to Tom Thumb. Emma Batchelor of Matagorda County 4-H sold her Grand Champion Market Broilers to Driver Pipeline Company, Inc. for $4,000.
This year marks a first for the State Fair of Texas staff; full-time employees pitched in to purchase an animal in the auction for the first time in history. State Fair staffers bid $5,200 on a steer owned by Colton Shackleford of Collinsville FFA. In line with the State Fair’s mission, the team wanted to make a contribution that will go towards the Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Fund and will ultimately provide students from across the great state of Texas with access to the higher education that they deserve.
Supported by community leaders and local businesses, the annual State Fair 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. Considered the heart and soul of the livestock department, 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! 256 hardworking 4-H and FFA students participated in this year’s event, coming from various counties across the Lone Star state. Bids exceeding the pre-established caps for Grand Champions generate funds for the State Fair Youth Scholarship Program, benefitting students who have participated in State Fair livestock events as well as students attending high schools in the Fair Park area. Through the Scholarship Fund and the Youth Livestock Auction, the State Fair provided more than $1.19 million in scholarships and prizes in 2013.
Since its humble beginnings in 1886 as a local fair and exposition, the State Fair of Texas® has grown tremendously, both in size and significance. Now the largest state fair in the nation, the State Fair of Texas continues to evolve, yet stays true to its original purpose. As its mission, the State Fair of Texas aims to celebrate all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. With these five pillars as its foundation, the State Fair of Texas strives to preserve the traditions upon which it was built, while also moving forward and working towards a successful future.