Hundreds of hours of work make for quick, multi-thousand dollar sales at Junior Livestock Sale | MyWindsorNow.com

Hundreds of hours of work make for quick, multi-thousand dollar sales at Junior Livestock Sale

James Redmond
jredmond@greeleytribune.com

Karsyn Fetzer spent hundreds of hours and several months raising her favorite pig, Weston, and Monday afternoon the grand champion market swine sold for $7,500 in less than a minute.

She kept her composure for most of the walk from the auction to the holding pens. When she stopped, she hid her face, knelt down beside the big pig and gently kissed its neck. When she stood up, tears filled her eyes. Her friends and family surrounded her and embraced her in a group hug.

Before the auction started, she said she knew she'd feel sad to say goodbye to this pig, who had become like a pet.

The 10-year-old girl from Kersey had the honor of kicking off the 99th Annual Weld County Fair's Junior Livestock Sale. The auction alone made her nervous; going first made it scarier.

Being the first of 245 animals up for auction put the pressure on. Swine went first, then rabbits, goats, chickens, lambs, turkeys and finally, beef. In each category the grand champion led, then reserve grand, then first place, and it went on in descending order.

All afternoon and into the early hours of the night, Weld County's youth paraded their prize-winning animals in front of a crowd of several hundred. Area businesses bought most of the animals up for auction. Thousands of dollars changed hands Monday.

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Beef usually brings in the sale's top dollar figures, but swine almost always come in second place, Karsyn's mom Jennifer Fetzer said.

Monday, Lauren Frink's grand champion lamb took $8,000 and just barely beat Karsyn's pig for second place grand champion sale price.

Justin Pfannebecker's grand champion beef sold for $10,000.

Money from the sale can help the kids who raise the animals pay for college. Karsyn said she's not sure what she'll study, but she wants to play volleyball for the University of Florida.

Before the auction, Karsyn needed to clean Weston off one last time, but first she took a moment to enjoy the pig's company. Weston nibbled her boot, she grinned. The pig bit her gently, she yelped and laughed. He was hungry, she explained.

Karsyn was excited, tired and really nervous. The normally good sleeper tossed and turned in bed instead of sleeping almost all week her mom explained. Poor sleep and long days at the fair took their toll after a week. She fell asleep in the back seat of her mom's car in the few minutes it took them to drive from their home to the fairgrounds Monday.

When the 25-minute warning sounded before the auction, Karsyn screamed quietly and turned to her mom. For the next 20 minutes she fidgeted with the buttons on her cuffs, played with her friends, tried to distract herself and remember her plan — just smile nicely and show off Weston.

Karsyn brought a lot of animals to the fair this year: two pigs, a few goats and a couple lambs. But Weston was her favorite. She loved going on walks with him each day and brushing him. He could be a pain, she recounted — he loved to knock over his bucket of food when she tried to feed him. But he was a fun and lovable pain.

When anyone pet Weston, he'd fall over in glee.

"He's like a baby," Karsyn said.

With the auction over with a fat $7,500 sale, Karsyn's mom told her she did good job and showed a great smile. But Karsyn needed a minute to grieve. After all that, tired, sad and triumphant, Karsyn said goodbye to Weston and then went back to the auction. Her big sister, Faith, had a goat up for sale.

4-H, FFA members unite to fix up show ring

4-H, FFA members unite to fix up show ring.

Junior Livestock Sale

The 99th Annual Weld County Fair’s Junior Livestock Sale took place Monday, selling 245 animals during more than five hours.

The grand champion animals sold for

» Swine (Karsyn Fetzer) —$7,500 to PDC Energy Inc.

» Rabbits (Aidan Datteri) — $2,000 to the DePorter family.

» Goat (Zachary Waite) — $5,000 to Anadarko Petroluem.

» Chickens (Ian Lovell) — $1,500 to Bill Barrett Corporation.

» Lamb (Lauren Frink) — $8,000 to PDC Energy Inc.

» Turkey (Colton Steinke) — $2,250 to Extraction Oil & Gas.

» Beef (Justin Pfannebecker) — $10,000 to G and M Implement.