Fine swine

Callisburg FFA member Zoe Green, front in the blue shirt, guides her hog around the show ring Friday, Jan. 10, during the Cooke County Junior Livestock Show market hog competition. The livestock show wraps up today, Saturday, Jan. 11, with the Abilities United show at 10 a.m. and the premium sale at 1 p.m. at the Cooke County Fairgrounds, 1901 Justice Center Blvd. The shows are free and open to the public.

As of Tuesday evening, Jan. 14, the Cooke County Junior Livestock Show premium auction had raised $242,595, show secretary Traci Broom said.

“The overall money raised for the premium auction was more than previous years, before add-ons,” Broom said while adding that official numbers will be available Monday, Jan. 20.

The premium auction on Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Cooke County Fairgrounds, 1901 Justice Center Blvd., consisted of 177 lots made up of the top 50% of market animals across the show, along with shop and family and consumer science projects, according to Broom.

She said $166,500 was raised during the auction and $76,095 had been raised in add-on money as of Tuesday.

Add-on money describes smaller donations given to projects that may or may not have qualified for the sale, according to Broom.

The public can still give, she said. Donations will be taken through Friday, Jan. 17. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 83, Era, Texas, 76238, if postmarked by Friday. Just include the child’s name and lot number the donation is going to, Broom said.

Lot numbers for all students can be found at www.cookecountyyouthfair.com, she said.

Donations may also be dropped off during school hours at Gainesville High School, 2201 S. I-35, to the attention of Traci Broom.

In addition, those interested can email cookecountyjls@gmail.com to be invoiced.

Students typically use their prize money from the auction to buy next year’s project or save toward college, Broom said.

This year’s highest selling project belonged to Augusta Reding, a junior at Valley View High School and a member of Valley View FFA, who exhibited the 2020 Grand Champion Steer. Her project brought $6,000 before add-ons, according to Broom.

Area flooding and snowy weather forced organizers to cancel the Abilities United show on Saturday morning. However, the registered number of buyers for the afternoon auction was more than recent years, Broom said.

“The overall turnout for the show and the auction was outstanding,” she said. “This was the highest number of animal entries in the last five years.”

This year, the show’s total number of entries increased to 1,173 from 1,093 in 2019, according to Broom. The total number of exhibitors also increased from 449 in 2019 to 474 this year.

“As our local 4-H and FFA chapters grow, we expect the number of entries to grow each year,” Broom said.

What’s next? Broom said a majority of the students who participated in the CCJLS have their projects entered in various other livestock shows around the state including the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

“These students are still hard at work, feeding, grooming and preparing their animals for the next show,” she said.

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