The iconic Beef Palace Auction Arena at the National Western Stock Show hosted a standing-room-only crowd for the 2024 Auction of Junior Livestock Champions.
“The generosity of the buyers was evident as the sale numbers were tallied, totaling $548,000 across the top eight champion animals,” wrote the National Western Stock Show.
This year’s sales were barely shy of the record $585,000 seen last year.
The top eight junior market animals were auctioned live on 9NEWS at 6:30 p.m., with the Grand Champion Steer, shown by 13-year-old Croix Reimann of Ree Heights, South Dakota, selling for $185,000 to Ames Construction Company.
Croix, who became interested in showing cattle at a young age, convinced his parents to let him show a steer at the National Western. He described his steer, Frosty, as a gentle giant with incredible ear hair.
Besides showing cattle, Croix enjoys football, basketball, and playing chess and hopes to attend college at Oklahoma State University.
The Reserve Grand Champion Steer named Bear, exhibited by 14-year-old Mason Shalla of Riverside, Iowa, was purchased by Transwest Trucks, Inc. for $100,000.
Making it to the green carpet during the Grand Drive was the experience of a lifetime for second-time National Western showman Mason. In 2023, Mason won 3rd place at the NWSS prospect show. Now a Reserve Grand Champion, Mason wants to attend college and then return home to his family farming operation.
The Grand Champion Hog named BB, exhibited by Gavin Straka of Yukon, Oklahoma, sold for $60,000 and was purchased by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
The process of preparing for a show of this caliber is one of Gavin’s favorite things. He knows the long hours and hard work will lead to success and allow him to learn many life lessons he can take with him beyond National Western.
Twelve-year-old Kamlynn Mason of Montgomery, Texas, exhibited the Reserve Grand Champion Hog named Titan. OXY purchased Titan for $55,000.
Kamlynn and her family have always shown and raised show pigs. Kamlynn has set her sights on attending Texas A&M and studying animal science.
The Grand Champion Lamb, shown by Kinley Pruett, sold for $52,000 to APC Resources. Her lamb is named Colby after Colby Williams, who miraculously saved the lamb’s life by giving it CPR.
After almost losing her lamb and now winning the Grand Champion title at the National Western, Kinley is grateful for the support of her family. She plans to study animal science and become a veterinarian.
The Reserve Grand Champion Lamb was purchased by TKM Foundation, Audra and Sean McNicholas, for $40,000. The Reserve Champion lamb was exhibited by 18-year-old Carson Keller, who, when not in the barn with his show sheep, can be found hunting in a duck blind. Carson is currently in school to become a welder and hopes to further his education at a technical school to become a lineman.
Babson Farms purchased the Grand Champion Goat for $30,000. Exhibitor Sayde Allen couldn’t have picked a more fitting name for her goat, Mile High, knowing Denver would be their final show together. Her love for showing runs deep, but building a “show family” with people across the country has been her favorite part of showing.
The Reserve Grand Champion Goat, exhibited by 13-year-old Dayton Mortvedt of Lynnville, Iowa, was purchased by Northwestern Holding LLC for $26,000. Dayton named his goat Chili, like a chili pepper, since he was spicy. He has known Chili since the day he was born, as his family raised him. It was a special moment walking Chili onto the green carpet as the work, grit, connection, and learning with his animal came to light.
The money invested supports the junior exhibitors who raised the animal as they prepare for their future in agriculture and college education. In addition, a portion of the proceeds supports the National Western Scholarship Trust.
The Scholarship Trust funds agriculture studies and rural medicine scholarships at colleges throughout Colorado and Wyoming. This year, 120 students received funds to aid their education.
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Author: Heidi Crnkovic