Sale of Champions sets new auction record

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2012

He stood under the glare of the lights nextto a steer that towered over him.

    He listened as the buzz of the auctioneer’s voice pushed thesteer’s price well over its $1,305.40 market value until the volleyof bids settled on a number: $2,900.

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    “I couldn’t believe it,” said 8-year-old John Rivers Brownafterwards, his eyes wide from his first time in the ring at alivestock auction.

    Brown was a participant in Monday night’s Lincoln County Sale ofChampions, an annual livestock auction where local 4-H and FFAparticipants sell market animals they have raised to show.

    This year set a record amount, with the combined auction price ofall animals sold totaling $27,875, well above 2011’s total of more than $20,425.

    The average steer price was $2,967, the average goat price $450 andthe average hog price $779.

    The man behind the auctioneer’s voice, Kendall Covington,attributed the high total to the number of animals.

    “We had more market animals than we’ve ever had before,” Covingtonsaid.

    There were 25 animals in the auction total: six steers, 12 goatsand seven hogs.

    Covington has been the voice of the auction since its inception in1997 and remembers when things were far different.

    “When we started we usually only had six or seven steers,”Covington said.

    Covington also had two boys participate when they were younger andpraises the program as an outlet for kids involved in livestockshows. He pointed out that between the cost of the animal and thecost of feed, the children and their families have a lot of moneyin the animals.

    With that as the case, local 4-H and FFA participants were in theright place Monday night.

    “They all brought well above market price,” Covington said.

    The children take home the total amount their animal brings.

    Monday night also included a cake sale and a silent auction. Theproceeds from those sales will go to the 4-H and FFA clubs.

    However, before the sale is finalized, the children that raised theanimals will get one more show out of them. All animals sold willbe shown at the Southwest District and Dixie National Junior RoundUp livestock shows before the sale is complete.

    Supplementing the main auction, the local clubs held a weight gaincompetition. The animals were weighed in September and again thismonth.

    Mackenzie Ritchie’s goat put on the most pounds, and Layne Brown’ssteer saw the most weight gain.

    Though it was his first time, Brown is ready to continue with hislivestock hobby. After all, he has to catch up with his olderbrother Layne, 14, who has more experience built up.

    Brown has the enthusiasm, though.

    “I didn’t start too long ago, but it’s fun,” he said.