Junior Livestock Sale shows community effort

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Park County traditions continued at this year’s fair, including the Junior Livestock Sale, where community members and businesses buy livestock raised by local youth.

The annual sale on July 28 brought in many community members and businesses that bid on rabbits, hogs, lambs, steers and goats.

The sale brought in a whopping $378,849, up nearly 10 percent from last year’s total of $345,012.

“This year we rebounded from last,” said Joe Bridges, chairman of the Junior Livestock Sale Committee. “I’d classify it as fantastic.”

The increase came despite a decrease in the number of youth who sold their animals at the event: with 220 local youth at the sale, that was the lowest number in recent years.

Bridges said the consistent support from the Park County community has been amazing, year-in and year-out.

“We have a solid group of businesses that are always there to support the kids,” Bridges said. “It is always amazing and exciting to see all the support.”

Hayden Bronnenberg, of Cody, sold his steer for $12 per pound, “the highest price I have ever seen,” said Bridges. Bronnenberg’s steer was purchased by Woodward Tractor and Rental Inc., located in Cody.

Starting this year, the highest bidders on each group of livestock will be commemorated in a plaque displayed inside the sale barn. It includes the buyer’s name, as well as a picture of the animal purchased. A variety of buyers took this offer as an oppurtunity to get their name out to the public and to support local youth.

Attendance at this year’s sale was “pretty even” compared to 2017, Bridges said.

“Last year, we had 36 new buyers, which really helped bring in a large total,” said Bridges.

Improvements to the sale barn were made last year, making the flow of people and amount of space easier to work with.

“Last year was a year of changes,” said Bridges. “This year, the construction changes worked really well for us.”

The improvements in the barn created “comfort, safety, and ease of stress for the animals and kids,” he said.

The sale is made possible every year because of volunteers, from auctioneers up front to the people helping in the back.

“It’s all a team effort,” Bridges said. “All the support is for the kids hard work and dedication to these animals.”

Total sale: $378,849

Rabbits (10 sold)

Average: $477.50 apiece (down from $480 last year)

Highest price: $675 (raised by Curtis Muecke, purchased by Cody and Dick Eastman)

Hogs (101 sold)

Average: $6.12/pound (up from $4.57 last year)

Highest price: $10.25/pound (Charlee Brence, Billings Farmhand and Beta Seed)

Lambs (48 sold)

Average: $8.12 (down from $8.23 last year)

Highest price: $13/pound (Bronson Smith, First Bank of Wyoming)

Steers (24 sold)

Average: $4.41/pound (up from $3.03 last year)

Highest price: $12/pound (Hayden Bronnenberg, Woodward Tractor and Rental)

Goats (37 sold)

Average: $8.97 (up from $8.82 last year)

Highest price: $20.50/pound (Rieta Clark, Dean and Stephanie Pettyjohn)

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