4-H steer auction fetches strong bids

Heather Latter

The annual 4-H market steer auction, held Saturday afternoon in conjunction with the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society’s fall fair in Emo, once again was a success, with several bids coming in at $3/pound or higher.
“It was a really great auction,” enthused local 4-H leader Kim Jo Bliss, who noted they were slightly nervous this year since there were 28 steers up for sale, which is more than usual.
“The kids are in charge of inviting buyers and we told them maybe they should campaign a little harder this year and think of some new people they could invite,” Bliss explained.
“And I think they did,” she added. “There were a few new people and it all turned out really well.”
Bliss said this year’s bids were very strong, ranging from $2.40/pound to $3.05/pound.
Compare these prices to last year’s where, out of 23 steers, the bids ranged from $1.55/pound to $2.91/pound.
Several years ago, a bid of $2.40/pound was among the highest—not the lowest as seen this year.
“I don’t think there was one kid that would be disappointed with even the $2.40 price,” Bliss remarked.
“They will all be very pleased.”
Jessica Haw’s grand champion market steer—weighing in at 1,195 pounds—earned the top amount of $3.05/pound from Paul Peters of Sunrise Meats.
Cassidy Teeple, meanwhile, garnered a bid of $2.85/pound for her 1,260-pound reserve champion market steer from Ainsworth Barwick.
While it may seem the pair raked in more than $3,500 for the prize animals, Bliss noted there are expenses that come off that total.
“They have anywhere in the neighbourhood of $1,200-$1,500 in expenses,” she explained, citing the cost of feed, etc.
“It takes a lot of work and a lot of money to get that animal finished and to that weight,” Bliss added.
“It’s not just all clear profit, that’s for sure.”
However, the local 4-H’ers did get a bit of a break this year with Manitoba auctioneer Ross Taylor volunteering his services for the event.
Bliss said the cost of the auctioneer typically is paid for equally by the members of the 4-H club.
“That’s been a pretty big expense,” she noted. “He did a great job and it’s a huge savings for the kids.”
Bliss added that Taylor indicated he’d be back as the auctioneer again next year.
“It was such an awesome weekend,” she enthused. “We can’t complain about anything.
“The temperature was right, there was a breeze, and everything went along quite smoothly.”