The animals for sale at the Gunnison Cattlemen’s Days Junior Livestock Auction showcase our 4-H and FFA members and the hard work they have put in all year long. The kids are dedicated to their animals and it allows them to learn so many valuable life lessons.
The 4-H and FFA members must take care of their animal each and every day which teaches them animal husbandry skills such as feeding, animal health care, and proper handling techniques.
Buying an animal at the auction helps support the members. They use the proceeds how they see fit – with most using it to start an education fund, or using it to support their next year’s project. Buyers’ dedication to the youth in 4-H and FFA help them prepare for their future.
In return, buyers can be assured they are purchasing the highest quality product. All animals must meet “Wholesome Meat Animal Standards” and all members have been trained in “Meat Quality Assurance”. Buyers also receive public recognition for their purchases.
Many different animals are sold at the Junior Livestock Sale including beef, sheep, goats, poultry and rabbits.
Our livestock sale works similarly to other auctions. Animals are sold by the pound – for example, a 100-pound lamb at $12.50/pound would sell for $1250. To bid, you just motion with your bidder card that you receive. You may split an animal with another buyer if you desire. Buyers are encouraged to have these plans done ahead of time.
After the auction, animals will be transported to the processor of your choice and can be processed to your specifications. Your processor will promptly contact you for cutting instructions and notify you when your meat is ready. Processors deliver meat to the Fred R. Field Western Heritage Center for pickup and to get your processing payment. The two processors our auction uses are Homestead Meats in Delta, and Kinikin Processing in Montrose. You pay for these processing costs – which means you get to fully customize your order!
If you want to support the kids, but do not want the meat you have a couple of options. To understand these two options, I want to clarify two definitions. Purchase price is the price you will pay to purchase an animal at our Jr. Livestock Auction. Market price is the current market value of that animal if it were to be sold at a regular livestock auction (not the Jr. Livestock Auction). This market price is printed in the sale brochure you receive so you can accurately understand that price the day of the sale.
The first option is to donate the animal. You can donate the animal to two different entities. You can donate the animal to the 4-H program, and proceeds will benefit the youth of the Gunnison County 4-H Program for many years. The animal’s market value becomes a charitable donation.
You can also donate the animal to the Gunnison Food Pantry. You would pay full auction price for the animal, as well as the processing costs, and the Food Pantry will handle picking up the meat from the processor. You could donate all or part of your animal in this manner. This donation will be a charitable donation.
The second option is to do a “buyback”. This means that the Junior Livestock Committee will buy back the animal you purchased at the current market price. Your payment becomes the difference in your purchase price and the market value of the animal. For example, a 1000-pound steer purchased at $4.00/pound will be a total of $4000. This is the amount the exhibitor receives. If the market price is $1.20 a pound, that means the market price total is $1200. The buyer will pay the difference between these two prices – so in this example the difference is $2.80 a pound, or $2800. This $2800 dollars is the amount you will pay as the buyer.