Strong beef sales propel auction to better finish than last year

Kaitlyn Stephan holds her steer, which placed third overall in the 4-H Beef Show, as auctioneer Dan Tomasek calls for bids during the 2017 4-H livestock auction on Thursday, Aug. 27.
Kaitlyn Stephan holds her steer, which placed third overall in the 4-H Beef Show, as auctioneer Dan Tomasek calls for bids during the 2017 4-H livestock auction on Thursday, Aug. 27. Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Strong beef sales propelled the 2017 Huntington County 4-H Fair Auction to a better finish than last year’s event, with 4-H’ers pocketing $252,810 in premium money off a lot of 664 head of livestock at the sale, which was held Thursday, July 27, at the Huntington County Fairgrounds.

The 2016 auction saw a head of 675 generate $222,650 in premium dollars for 4-H’ers. That mark was topped by $30,160 at this year’s event, with $22,475 of that amount coming from beef receipts alone.

Beef sales totaled $38,450 in premium money. Forty-three cattle crossed the block, selling for an average of $894. Last year’s sale topped out at $15,975, with 4-H’ers trotting out 32 bovines.

The beef sale was highlighted by the auction’s lone record-breaking transaction. Ethan Stephan’s grand champion steer was sold for $7,800, with Friends of Ethan Stephan making the purchase. The previous mark was $6,200, set by Sarah Hunnicutt at the 2015 auction.

Goat sales were also up at this year’s auction. Four-H’ers sold 120 goats for a total of $51,750 in premiums, bettering the 2016 mark by $6,660. In that auction, a head of 130 generated $45,100 for sellers.

The average sale at the 2017 auction was $431. The largest sale was had by Ian Broderick, who sold his goat for $5,500. Family and friends of Ian Broderick made the purchase.

Poultry sales topped out at $45,375. The average sale in the 160-bird lot was $283. Keaton Jones had the richest payday, selling his bird for $650 to Myers Funeral Homes.

The 2016 poultry sale saw a head of 176 fetch $43,300.

In the dairy portion of the auction, four gallons of milk were sold for $2,825. Dyson Pearson had the biggest chunk of those profits, selling his gallon for $1,650. Eleven buyers chipped in to make the purchase. The average sale was $706.

At last year’s auction, three gallons netted $1,650.

Rabbit sales surpassed the 2016 total by $1,150. Four-H’ers carried out 149 rabbits for buyers this year, selling the animals for $39,750 and an average of $266.

A group of eight buyers made Seth Moon the most profitable of those 4-H’ers, purchasing his rabbit for $1,500.
In 2016, 140 rabbits were sold for $38,600.

Sheep sales were almost identical to last year. In both auctions, 24 sheep crossed the block, with this year’s animals generating $8,475 and the 2016 lot fetching $8,325.

The average sale this year was $353. Haley Burnau and Kylee Burnau tied for the biggest sale, each making $450. Eads and Sons Bulldozing bought Haley Burnau’s sheep while Bippus State Bank purchased Kylee Burnau’s.

Like last year, the bulk of the auction’s proceeds derived from the swine sale. Four-H’ers trotted out 164 pigs, selling them for $66,185, which averaged out to $403 per hog.

A group of 43 buyers made Travis Wuensch the wealthiest of those 4-H’ers, buying his pig for $4,750.

The 2016 swine sale topped this year’s by $3,515. In that sale, a head of 170 generated $69,700.