By Karl Terry, PNT Managing Editor
The Democratic National Convention may have a bigger balloon drop later this week but it’s doubtful they’ll be having any more fun than the young people who participated in the 20th annual Roosevelt County Livestock Sale Saturday.
The sale marked a milestone complete with a balloon drop and party horns as the gavel dropped on the sale of Seth Daniel’s lamb. That purchase, by New Mexico Machinery and Craig Hughes Welding put the cumulative sale total over the 20 years over the $2 million mark.
Late Saturday totals were still coming but sale volunteers said the total 2008 sale would likely be more than $180,000 — not a record — but a solid year.
“It’s fantastic,” said Becky Walker, whose granddaughter Kelsi Lamb participated in the sale. “I’d say this was a dream come true. To have this sale to support the youth of Roosevelt County. They work hard and it helps the families stay involved.”
Walker’s daughter, Melissa Lamb, sold a pig at the first auction back in 1988. She and her daughter were one of two second-generation families involved in Saturday’s sale. The other was Falyn Dixson and her mom, Amber Hamilton.
Walker said a number of the families that got together to start the sale 20 years ago still actively help each year.
Nine-year-old Daelynn Lee of Dora admitted she was pretty nervous minutes before she took to the sale ring. Her second-place dairy heifer calf Sugar wasn’t making things any easier on the way to the sale barn either. Once the pair got into the ring though Sugar cooperated long enough for Daelynn to flash a big smile and sell her heifer for $5,000.
Daelynn said that it was her first year showing animals at the fair and she was excited to make the sale. She said it was lots of work though.
“I had to feed and walk her every day,” Daelynn said. “I liked showing her in the ring the best.”
For New Mexico State freshman Dru Sanders of the Elida FFA and Arch 4-H, it was his last time in the sale ring. He finished with a smile and a $3,900 check for his reserve champion cross-bred pig.
Sanders, who hopes to become a mechanical engineer, has showed animals for 10 years, nine of those years at the Roosevelt County Fair. That means he’s participated in nearly half the junior livestock sales in the fair’s history.
Sanders says all those shows and all those animals have taught him responsibility and taught him to work hard. Along the way he says he’s learned the correct way to raise animals.
He had a list of people he credited as helping him succeed including his parents Dave and Liz Sanders, his grandparents David and Carolyn Sanders, his ag teacher Rod Savage and friend Jimmy Duncan.
Sanders has shown hogs, goats and dairy heifers over the years but he says he’s partial to raising hogs.
Asked what advice he would give to the younger exhibitors he was quick with an answer.
“Know what you’re looking for at the start and just try to make them look good at the end,” Sanders said.