The 69th Annual Youth Livestock Auction kicked off with a record-setting sale of the 2017 Grand Champion Market Steer. This year’s prize-winning animal was generously purchased by Superior Trailers and the Big Tex Champion Club, making auction history with their highest bid of $141,000.
With 424 steers entered into 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; 12-year-old Tristan Himes of Sterling County 4-H took home the grand prize for his winning steer, Tex. A new tradition beginning in 2017, the Fair introduced “The Champ”, a steer-shaped monument commemorating the Grand Champion Market Steer of the Youth Livestock Auction. This year, “The Champ” has been painted to resemble the likeness of Tex and will be displayed outside of the Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center throughout the Fair.
Mikala Grady of Johnson County 4-H sold her Reserve Grand Champion Market Steer to the State Fair of Texas Midway Concessionaires and Ride Operators for $92,000. The Grand Champion Market Barrow, owned by Wade Appleton of McCulloch County 4-H, sold to the Briscoe and Carpenter families for $30,000. Atmos Energy purchased the Grand Champion Market Lamb for $20,000 from Madison Peterson of Ira FFA. The Grand Champion Market Goat, owned by Trey Harbour of Jonesboro FFA, went for $20,000 to the “Shooting for the Stars” Sporting Clay Committee. Jacy Welch of Comal County 4-H sold her Grand Champion Market Broiler to Tom Thumb for $12,000.
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 third year in a row, the State Fair team bid on a Breed Champion Barrow owned by Carlee Metcalf of Stratford FFA, as well as a light weight All Other Breeds Steer owned by Frenship FFA member Jaxson Hoel. Because the Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Program truly embodies the State Fair’s mission of promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement, the team feels very passionately about contributing to this cause.
Supported by community leaders and local businesses, the annual 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! Approximately 3,200 entries from around the state competed for one of the coveted 281 spots in the Youth Livestock 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 Youth Scholarship Program. The Youth Scholarship 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 Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Program, the State Fair has awarded more than $24 million in auction awards and scholarships.
The 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 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 reinvested in Fair Park in the form of capital improvements; given as scholarships to deserving youth throughout the state of Texas; used to support the Fair Park museum facilities and community outreach programs; and used to improve the State Fair’s operation. 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 this year’s exposition.