FFA/4-H livestock producers see big payday at fair

Rod Panike of Select Properties bought Weiser FFA member Banzer Arnett’s meat chickens for $350, as well as Emma Thomas’ pen of meat rabbits for $1,000.

Hometown Motors' Mike Jones won the bid for Weiser FFA member Trista Buescher's 142-pound Grand Champion lamb at $12.50 per pound at the annual Washington County Fair livestock auction. Buescher and Jones were joined by a host of friends and supporters in the photo.

Weiser Classic Candy’s Patrick Nauman put in a high bid of $14 per pound for Jessie Nauman’s Grand Champion meat goat. Photos by Zane Davis

Washington County’s 2023 Fair concluded with a nearly record-breaking livestock sale, with buyers spending $460,492. Jace Mink’s Grand Champion steer, above, brought $5.50 per pound and was purchased by Patty Frerichs - Silver Creek Realty Group. Photo by Zane Davis

A representative of Valley Paving, left, placed the high bid of $6.50 per pound for Paisley Grooms 299-pound Grand Champion market swine at the Washington County Fair livestock auction in August, where FFA and 4-H members earned close to record-breaking amounts. Longtime fair supporter Kevin Papineau is pictured behind Grooms, along with an unidentified friend, holding her grand champion banner. Photo by Zane Davis
Nancy Grindstaff
Washington County’s FFA and 4-H market livestock members earned close to record payouts at the annual county fair livestock sale on Aug. 5.
 Washington County Fairboard secretary Chris Braun told the Signal American the $460,492 total sales revenue isn’t the county’s highest record, “but it was right in there.
 “Add-ons makeup $91,023 of that total and we sold 173 animals,” Braun said.
 Cambridge FFA member Jace Mink’s 1,450-pound grand champion steer drew a high bid of $5.50 per pound, with Patti Frerichs - Silver Creek Realty Group winning the purchase. A 2023 Weiser High School graduate and Echo Dell 4-H club member, Morgan Brunson had the 1,574-pound reserve champion steer, it going for $4 per pound to Ron and Leslie Shirts.
 Braun said the average price of the total 48 steers going through the sale ring was $3.10 per pound. 
 Steve’s Hometown Motors in Weiser bought Trista Buescher’s 150-pound grand champion market lamb for $12.50 per pound, with Weiser Memorial Hospital purchasing Cambridge FFA member Hope Harrison’s 119-pound lamb for $12 per pound. The county’s 41 project lambs sold for an average of $18.57 per pound, Braun said.
 Sixty-three swine projects went through the ring, with Weiser’s Indianhead 4-H club member Paisley Groom’s 299-pound grand champion garnering a $6.50 per pound bid from Valley Paving. Commercial Tire won the bid on Hitt Mountain 4-H club member Jack Papineau’s 273-pound reserve champion at $16 per pound. The average swine sale price was $5.92 per pound.
 Twenty meat goats sold for an average $7.83 per pound. 21st Century Farm Kids 4-H club member Jessie Nauman drew a $14 per pound bid from Weiser Classic Candy for her 84-pound grand champion. Midvale Telephone Exchange bought reserve champion Ayden Pedevilla’s 74-pound goat for $11 per pound. Pedevilla is a member of Middle Valley Stockmen 4-H club.
 Select Properties bought both Weiser FFA member Banzer Arnett’s pen of three meat chickens for $350, and 21st Century Farm Kids Emma Thomas’s pen of three meat rabbits for $1,000 to round out the grand and reserve animal sales.
 “I think our county fair was great this year,” Washington County Extension Educator Tyler O’Donnell said. “We have a lot of great community partners working with the Fair Board and everyone else who was involved.
 “Our sale ended up grossing over $460,000, which is amazing for a county this size to bring in that kind of money at the sale,” he added. “I think all those kids worked really hard and did a great job. It definitely showed.”
 The difference between the packers’ floor prices, referred to as the beginning bid price on the sale sheets available the day of the sale, and the average sale prices indicates the community generosity shown at the annual livestock auction. This year’s floor prices were: beef, $1.77; sheep, $1.30; swine, 65 cents; goats, $1.90; poultry, $20 per pen; and rabbits, $10 per pen. 


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