4-H steer auction sees higher prices

With last year’s grand champion market steer cashing in at $2.25/pound, Matt McQuaker of Stratton was thrilled when his steer fetched a $2.40/pound bid at the annual 4-H steer auction Saturday in conjunction with the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society’s fall fair in Emo.
John Gerber of Landmark Feeds made the purchase.
“It’s excellent,” McQuaker enthused. “It’s far better than you would usually get. And the grand champion steer generally does sell a bit better being the top of the field.”
At 1,435 pounds, that translated into a total of $3,444 for McQuaker, 18, who will be heading off to the University of Manitoba in a few weeks to study mechanical engineering.
He noted the cash will be put towards his education fund.
No stranger to steer showing, McQuaker also took the grand champion title two years ago and earned the reserve champion showman award this year.
“It wasn’t totally shocking, but it was pretty great,” McQuaker said yesterday. “It’s not very often it happens. You put a lot of work into a 4-H steer and it’s nice to see that pay off.”
He stressed it is quite an honour to receive the title.
“That’s the big prize of the day,” he remarked. “It’s what most people are going for.”
McQuaker added raising steers can be profitable.
“There are a lot of expenses that do go into a 4-H steer,” he noted. “[But] it’s very rare that you ever lose money on one. It’s probably only happened to one or two people in the last five or six years.
“It’s usually pretty profitable and a great experience.”
McQuaker also said this year’s auction was a success, with 25 steer up for bid.
“It was a pretty good year,” he claimed. “There were lots of buyers out and it was a nice day, so lots of people showed up and the prices were pretty strong.
“It really depends on the year,” he conceded. “Sometimes when you get more steer, the prices aren’t quite so good, but there were lots of steer this year and the prices still held pretty strong.”
Ben Miller, also of Stratton, had the reserve champion market steer, with “Fred” taking a $2.085/pound bid from Tompkins Hardware for a $2,481.15 total.
Of the 25 participants, only two earned less than $1.70/pound for their steer.
Closely following McQuaker’s top amount was his brother, Jared McQuaker’s steer, which garnered $2.29/pound to earn the second-highest total ($2,965.55).
“It was pretty good,” said Susan Irvine, who helped organize the auction. “We kind of averaged the same as the last few years for the type of year we got for cattle.”
She noted there was one year when they auctioned 33 steer, but sometimes they’ve only had 18, so this year was “about middle of the road” and all round a good showing.
The results were as follows:
•Grand Champion Market Steer—Matt McQuaker
•Reserve Champion Market Steer—Ben Miller
•Grand Champion Showman (Hereford Association trophy)—Riley Caul
•Reserve Champion Showman (CIBC trophy)—Matt McQuaker
•Craig Advent Memorial Award—Nathan Bujold
< *c>Market Steer
< *c>Open Show
< *c>(First Weight Class)
•Champion First Weight Division—Matt McQuaker
•Reserve Champion First Weight Division—Jared McQuaker
< *c>(Second Weight Class)
•Champion Second Weight Division—Ben Miller
•Reserve Champion Second Weight Division—James Westover
< *c>(Third Weight Class)
•Champion Third Weight Division—Daniel Anderson
•Reserve Champion Third Weight Division—David Donaldson
< *c>Senior Beef Showman
< *c>(four+ years’ experience)
•Champion Senior Showman (Badiuk Equipment Ltd. trophy)—Riley Caul
•Reserve Senior Showman—Matt McQuaker
< *c>Intermediate Beef Showman
< *c>(three years’ experience)
•Champion Intermediate Beef Showman (ETA Contracting trophy)—Nathan Bujold
•Reserve Champion Intermediate Beef Showman—Mitchell Haw
< *c>Junior Beef Showman
< *c>(two years’ experience)
•Champion Junior Beef Showman (MacDonald Motors trophy)—Samantha Stahn
•Reserve Champion Junior Beef Showman—Tyler Nielson
< *c>Novice Beef Showman
< *c>(first year)
•Champion Novice Beef Showman (Barwick Service trophy)—Robert Stevens
•Reserve Champion Novice Beef Showman—James Westover
< *c>Senior Heifer Class
•Grand Champion Heifer (Cattleman’s Award)—Riley Caul
•Reserve Champion Heifer (Gemmell Award)—Sarah Truelove
•Top Charolais Heifer (Carlson Family Award)—Riley Caul