Summit County Junior Livestock Auction nets more than $459,000 | ParkRecord.com

Summit County Junior Livestock Auction nets more than $459,000

J.W. Silcox stands with auction judge Josh Dallin and his Grand Champion Steer. Silcox earned nearly $8,500 from the sale or about $6.50 per pound.

J.W. Silcox didn't mind getting up more than 30 minutes early before school every day to feed his two steers, Norman and Gordon. The 9-year-old from Henefer also didn't mind feeding them every night after dinner.

Admittedly, it was hard work for the youngster to care for and learn how to halter and lead the animals, that outweigh him by nearly 1,300 pounds each, said his mom, Katie Silcox. But eventually, she said he could handle both of them.

Earlier this month, Silcox's hard work paid off when he was recognized for raising the Grand Champion Steer at the 2016 Summit County Fair's Junior Livestock Auction. Silcox's winning steer, Gordon, sold for nearly $8,500 or about $6.50 per pound.

"I was so excited even though, at first, I didn't know that I had won," Silcox said. "Now I got to pay some bills and (pay) for my other steer. I'm also saving for something that I want: a pellet gun."

The Junior Livestock Sale, held on Saturday, Aug. 13, represents the culmination of months of hard work raising livestock and offers substantial payouts to the participants.

The total gross sales for 2016 were about $459,000 from 182 animals sold, according to Sterling Banks, Utah State University 4-H agent. The "record breaking" sale brought in nearly $90,000 more than last year. Banks said prices were the highest he has seen since he began overseeing the auction in the 1980s.

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The approximate prices per pound were:

  • Lamb: $14.96 per pound
  • Hog: $7.88 per pound
  • Steer: $4.61 per pound
  • Total gross sale: $459,000

The average price per pound for lambs, hogs and steers exceeded last year's prices by more than $1 in some cases, Banks said. He attributed the higher prices to presale marketing and the work that is done by the Junior Livestock Committee to contact potential buyers.

"It was a record sale and the best one we have ever had here," Banks said. "There are just a lot of generous people and they support the youth in the county very well.

"We're getting new buyers and the return buyers who are willing to donate more and more," he said. "There is really good support from all parts of the county to help these kids pay for expenses and their future education."

Tori Robinson, who is 15 years old and lives in Chalk Creek, said all of the money she has earned raising lambs has been put into a savings account she can't access until she turns 18. This year, Robinson sold her lamb for $12 per pound, earning her $2,028.

"I've gotten better at showing them over the years and that obviously gets you a better place in the sale and that gets you more money. Plus, I have brought home a lot of knowledge," Robinson said.

For Silcox's mom, Katie, who is the FFA advisor for North Summit High School, the entire experience was extremely beneficial for her son, adding that he "learned so much."

"He's showing and holding their head up and answering questions that he had asked in the beginning. It was very rewarding and he did so well," Silcox said. "He is just a tender-hearted little guy and he wanted to win his own buckle so badly. The livestock program is just great because it teaches these lifelong skills because he knew that something was relying on him, which is super important."

2016 Junior Livestock Auction Average Prices

  • Lambs: $14.96 per pound
  • Hogs: $7.88 per pound
  • Steers: $4.61 per pound
  • Total gross sale: $459,000

Information courtesy of University of Utah Extension Service