By Mike Taborski
There should be little doubt that for some of the hardworking youth — representing the Plumas and Sierra county 4-H and Future Farmers of America programs — that the annual livestock auction can be bittersweet. That is especially true as their summer-long efforts and subsequent attachments to their animals comes to an end at the Junior Livestock Auction held last Sunday, July 31 at the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds in Quincy.
But when the stands are full of extremely generous buyers — both individuals and business owners — who this year collectively spent a staggering $354,380 on 103 animals — it quickly seems to make it all worthwhile.
The sale at a glance; price bumps
The 18 head of beef added $183,956 to the total making the average price $8.21 per pound. Swine buyers paid a total of $118,814, an average price of $9.27 a pound for the 50 animals on the market.
The 15 sheep averaged $13.52 per pound, adding another $27,125 to the coffers, while the 16 goats fetched a total of $19,374 averaging $15.09 a pound. The two turkeys sold added $3,350 to the total and the only pen of rabbits sold for a flat $l,400.
Several individuals and businesses bumped the sales prices and/or donated additional funds to the auction. Highlighting that list included Indian Valley Construction who donated $5,000 to be shared amongst the participating youth with animals in the auction. Willow Vieira who added .25 cents to the sales price of each lamb and Drs. Jensen and Kennedy raised the price on goats to $14 per pound and $12 per pound for sheep. Plumas Bank added $300 to the sales price for every Indian Valley animal and Attorney Brett Cook and the Potter Handy Law Firm pitched in an additional $5,200 to all Indian Valley and Wolf Creek 4-H members.
Daisy Neer from the Indian Valley 4-H group sold her huge 1,266-pound grand champion steer for a whopping $10 per pound to Select Environmental Services of Rocklin, CA. Neer was also the 4-H senior beef showmanship winner. Jhett Neer sold the 1,298-pound reserve grand champion beef for $7.25 to Wilburn Construction.
Alexxis Gunier from Loyalton FAA sold her hefty grand champion 267-pound grand champion showmanship winning swine, to Leonhardt Ranch for $9 a pound. Jaycee Pew’s reserve champion hog fetched $13 a pound from Select Environmental Services.
Sierra Valley Ranch and Feed paid $15 per pound for Sierra Valley 4-Her Justus Emsoff’s 130-pound award winning grand champion lamb and Mia Johnson sold her 133-pound reserve champ lamb to Plumas Motor Supply for $17 a pound.
The 70-pound grand champion market goat raised by Sierra Valley 4-H member Aurora Osburn, who also won for showmanship, went to Rob Church for $22 per pound. Keeping it in the family, Ryker Osburn’s reserve champion goat was bought by Joy Engineering for $17 a pound.
Joy also bought Loyalton FFA member and showmanship winner Nathan Smeltzer’s grand champion 48-pound turkey for $50 a pound and Brian West paid $25 a pound for Zoey Taylor’s reserve champion turkey. Treasure Mtn. 4-H member Katarina Wellise sold her grand champion rabbits for $1,400 to Ronnie Wilson and Collen Enterprises.
As always, there were numerous multiple buyers supporting the local 4-H and FFA youth. Leading the list Sunday was Joy Engineering, Plumas Bank, Select Environmental Services, Al and Karla Pombo, Bordges Timber, Brian West, Dobbas Ranch, George’s Custom Meat, Cassol family, Dean and Tanya Morgan, Sierra Valley Ranch, Sierra Valley Feed, Sierra Valley Barns, Indian Valley Lumber, Integrity Heating and Air, Motorsport Tech, Heat Transfer Systems, McGarr Excavation, NAPA, Wilburn Construction, Sierra Pacific Industries, Plumas Motor Supply, Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale, Western Video, Round Valley Ag and Resort and Les Schwab Tires in Portola.
Purchases donated back for resale
Several buyers donated their purchases back to be resold with the proceeds benefitting a worthy cause of their choosing. They included Steve and Joanie Utterback who donated their purchase to benefit the Martinetti Scholarship. Three different buyers donated their purchases to benefit the Clayton Neer Memorial Fund, they were Charlie and Lynn Neer, Dave and Jane Roberti and Sierra Valley Legacy of Ag and Joy Engineering. Cal Sierra Title Co. donated one of its purchases to benefit Alexandria Siqueido who lost her animal during the fair. Plumas Medical donated back to the Indian Valley Academy; Indian Valley Lumber and JC Lumber returned their purchase to benefit the Indian Valley Food Pantry and Ron Wilson and Collen Enterprises’ donation was earmarked to make improvements to the fairgrounds.
Awards for 4-H senior showmanship were presented to Aurora Osburn, Daisy Neer, Jhett Neer, Anela Caudle, Bobbi Jo Griffin, Gianna Tantardino, Kayliann Gregory and Quinton Vert.
Junior showmanship awards went to Justus Emsoff, Logan Royer, Blaine Morgan, Jacelyn Gregory, Kenley Neer,* Cate Petterson, Josie Petterson and Eva Petterson.
Beginning showmanship awards were presented to Micha Muyanja, Ellie Tanner, Kyle Davis, Chloe Waltermire, Rylie McGarr and Cadence Rogge.
FFA showmanship winners were Julianna McMorrow, Ava Solberg, Adrian Griffin, Alexxis Gunier, Nathan Smeltzer, Case Emsoff,* Bobbi Jo Griffin* and Kristin Roberti.
(*also a Round Robin winner)
Behind the scenes
As he has successfully done for decades, auctioneer Wesley Neer did a masterful job working a very, very generous crowd of buyers — with checkbooks in hand — that packed the sales arena that warm Sunday morning.
And a special shout-out also needs to be made to those businesses and individuals who offered goods and services to help make this auction such a success. They included Plumas Bank, Plumas Co. Sheriff’s Association, Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications, American AgCredit, Safeway, Palmaz Family, Kim and Tony Folchi, Bengard Ranch, Sierra Valley Feed and Ranch Supply, White’s Service Station, Sav Mor Foods and the Plumas-Sierra Cattlemen’s Association.
And we should also mention the hardworking livestock action committee: Megan Neer, president; Crystal Emsoff, vice president; Tanya Morgan, secretary; Suzanne Powers, treasurer; Ron Wilson, livestock manager and Susan Taylor, record keeping for all shows.