Steer auction fetches higher prices

One of the traditional highlights of the annual Emo Fair each August is the 4-H market steer auction. And this year was no exception.
Local 4-H beef club members invest a year of hard work and money to bring a calf to market weight in hopes they will recover their investment—and perhaps make a little money for their post-secondary education.
That’s why so much attention was paid to the auction, which took place Saturday at the Emo fairgrounds.
With all the uncertainty in the beef market resulting from the recent mad cow crisis, there was a concern the youngsters would get less than they deserved for their efforts.
But this year, the community really stepped up to the plate and opened its wallets. Twenty-three animals went under the gavel and all but one of them fetched at least $1.70/lb.
The first steer up for bids was the Grand Champion Market Steer, owned by Sarah Truelove of Barwick.
Auctioneer Rick LaPointe needed to do very little arm-twisting to get the initial bid over $2/lb and when the hammer came down, “Magnum,” as the animal was named, went to local MPP Howard Hampton for $2.25/lb.
At 1,490 pounds, that translated into a total of $3,352.50 for Truelove, who is entering Grade 12 at Fort Frances High School this fall.
When asked later if he was planning to rename the animal “Dalton” before sending it off to slaughter, Hampton replied, “That wouldn’t be fair to the poor guy.”
It was not clear whether he was referring to the steer or the Ontario premier.
The next animal on the block was the Reserve Champion Market Steer belonging to Kerry Hyatt of Emo. That animal was purchased by Landmark Feeds for $2.04/lb, bringing in $2,794.80 for Hyatt.
And so it went on down the line. In fact, the first 11 animals all brought in $2/lb or better—a far cry from two years ago when some of the youngsters were getting little more than $1/lb for their efforts.
Beef club leader Susan Irvine, who helped organize the auction, said the most significant feature of this year’s auction was the consistency of the prices.
Unlike in previous years when prices fluctuated wildly, the range was fairly narrow this time around.
“I felt it was good that the prices were so close together,” Irvine noted yesterday. “And I think it’s fabulous the way the community has supported this.”
Here are the results of the 4-H beef show that preceded the auction:
•Grand Champion Market Steer—Sarah Truelove
•Reserve Champion Market Steer—Kerry Hyatt
•Grand Champion Showman (Hereford Association trophy)—Kerry Hyatt
•Reserve Champion Showman (CIBC trophy)—Mitchell Haw
•Craig Advent Memorial Award—Hannah Firth
< *c>Senior Beef Showman
< *c>(four+ years
< *c>of experience)
•Champion Senior Showman (Badiuk Equipment Ltd. trophy)—Kerry Hyatt
•Reserve Senior Showman—Hannah Firth
< *c>Intermediate
< *c>Beef Showman
< *c>(three years
< *c>of experience)
•Champion Intermediate Beef Showman (Fred Klug trophy)—Tegan Miller
•Reserve Champion Intermediate Beef Showman—Jolene Stahn
< *c>Junior
< *c>Beef Showman
< *c>(two years
< *c>of experience)
•Champion Junior Beef Showman (MacDonald Motors trophy)—Mitchell Haw
•Reserve Champion Junior Beef Showman—Justin Bujold
< *c>Novice Beef
< *c>Showman
< *c>(first year)
•Champion Novice Beef Showman (Barwick Service trophy)—Simeon Firth
•Reserve Champion Novice Beef Showman—Meagan Anderson
< *c>Senior Heifer Class
•Grand Champion—Riley Caul
•Reserve Champion—Andrew Morrish
•Doug Carlson Charolais Award—Riley Caul