PUEBLO – The Colorado State Fair is not all just fun and games, the Junior Livestock Auction puts young people to work year-round to prep their animals for the competition.
The event wrapped up Tuesday night as it is a foundation event supporting programs encouraging young people to learn about the agriculture business. But, all the hard work does not come without a reward as these animals can go for some big bucks.
Around 130 animals with awards make it to the auction. The higher the award, the higher the price, leading to bids in the tens of thousands of dollars.
The grand champion steer at the Colorado State Fair was a 1,400 pound crossbred named Daniel. Nash, a 13-year-old is who raised the champion winning steer.
Not far away, a grand champion hog, raised by Nash’s sister Emma. This is the first time a brother and sister won the top two awards at the state fair.
” It was pretty exciting to get her Grand Hog and then me Grand Steer,” Nash said.
All young participants have put in their share of work to get to the competition. ” Every day you had to take care of him at five in the morning every morning.”
“Oh my gosh it takes so much,” said a participant.
“We condition their skin once a day, I usually wash him two to three time a week.”
The work goes beyond grooming as the young participants work to build the structure the judges look for in the animals. A livestock language these young people truly understand.
“He’s got good bone structure, he’s got great muscled. He’s very tall out of the shoulder,” said a participant.
After months of hard work, grooming time and understanding what judges are looking for, the animals spend a few rewarding minutes in the competition ring. The winning animals then go up for auction.
The children learn not to guess how much the animal will sell for, but they do have an idea after seeing how much animals have sold for in the past.
The price tag on a grand champion steer can be in the upwards of $60,000 or more, with a reserve champion steer going for $24,000.
For more information on the fair and local events, click here.