It was the culmination of a long winter, busy spring and frantic early summer of preparation for the 4-H members who gathered at the Estevan Exhibition Grounds Thursday through Saturday last week for their annual individual club achievement days. Those were then wrapped up with a four-club district show that, in turn, concluded with a big auction sale of prized steers Saturday evening.
The Outram-Madigan 4-H Beef Club captured the top prize for district achievement and Browning 4-H Beef Club senior member Katelynn Tedford walked away with a couple of major awards for individual achievement (Outstanding Achievement and Exhibition Association scholarship) as well during the awards ceremony that preceded the auction sale of 52 young steers that had been groomed and cared for by the youthful members over the past year.
The evening's auction carried out under the hammer of Norm Mack and Mack's Auction Service saw the district's grand champion steer, owned and shown by Jonathon Geisel of the Browning 4-H Beef Club, netting a neat $4.25 a pound for the 1,357 pound steer that was purchased by The Tower Restaurant team.
The reserve grand champion steer was raised and shown by Allison Mack of the Benson 4-H Beef Club. The price for this steer ended up at $3.25 a pound for the 1,404 pound specimen that was bought by Redhead Equipment of Estevan.
The bidding for the remaining 50 animals was brisk and spirited.
“The total sale of 52 steers averaged $3.56 a pound,” said Brian Mack, who had also volunteered his services for the show and sale.
“That's a real good average, pretty close to a record I would say, especially when we've heard the results from other regional shows where they're generally getting $1.50 to $1.80 per pound ... $3.56 sounds pretty darn good,” Mack said.
The four 4-H clubs (Crossroads of Stoughton, Benson, Browning and Outram-Madigan) also raised an initial $680 from club members for a special kiss the cow contest. Actually it was an opportunity to kiss the grand champion steer, with the 4-H leader garnering the most votes having the privilege of doing a smack dance with a drooling bovine.
Lana Wyatt of the Browning club earned that dubious honour, but before she made the smooch, an anonymous donor stepped up and declared a further $100 donation to the cause if all four 4-H leaders would kiss the steer. They all did and the $780 raised will now be forwarded to the Estevan Exhibition Association on behalf of all four clubs as a thank you for the use of the facilities.