Students in local FFA and 4-H clubs had a good year selling their steers and hogs last week at the Roseburg Rotary Junior Livestock Auction at the Douglas County Fair. Combined with the lambs sold at the Douglas County Lamb Show auction in June, the kids raised $1 million.
Roseburg Rotary Junior Livestock Auction Chairman Sam Lee said that makes it the biggest year ever for the event. A decade ago, the auction brought in about half that, he said.
“The auction went excellent. We had great support from businesses and individuals all over the county. ...People that see the value in this program, in these market livestock programs, they really support it as much as they can, and I have a lot of the buyers are the same buyers year after year,” Lee said.
The champion steer was raised by Paige Edmonson and sold for $26 a pound to SERVPRO of Douglas County.
The reserve champion steer was sold by Grace Jones for $6.50 a pound to Sherm’s Thunderbird Market.
The champion hog was sold by Reece Sandberg for $33 a pound to Umpqua Roofing.
The reserve champion hog was sold by Lana Skeen for $13 a pound to Long’s Building Supply.
The winners had plenty of competition. Seventy-two steers were entered this year, up from last year. The number of hog entries was down a bit from last year but still a big field at 146.
The lambs going for auction were already sold at the Douglas County Lamb Show in June because they’d have been too big if they had to wait until August. There were 257 of them.
Some kids will use the money they’ve earned at the auctions to invest in more livestock, while others will save it for college, Lee said. Either way, they’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way, he said.
They’ve had to feed and water their animals, clean their pens, and if they aren’t doing that work their animals won’t get to the required weight to make it into the fair and the auction, he said. Then they would be stuck with an expense rather than earning a profit.
“There’s a very strong real-world lesson there that you take care of things and hopefully it pays off,” he said.
Participating students range from fourth grade through high school.
“We still see the same great quality of kids coming through year after year and great quality of projects. Our numbers fluctuate up and down, but the program’s still going strong,” Lee said.