Market Livestock Sale has another record year
Dillon Jewett sold his grand champion steer to Super 1 Foods for $7.50 per pound at the annual Market Livestock Sale the Northwest Montana Fair on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021. (Courtesy of Alicia Craft Gower)
Bailey Lake sold her grand champion lamb to Sargent Transportation for $21.00 per pound at the Market Livestock Sale on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021. (Courtesy of Alicia Craft Gower)
Kinzey Davis sold her grand champion hog to Corwin Auto Group for $13.25 per pound during the Market Livestock Sale at the Northwest Montana Fair on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021. (Courtesy of Alicia Craft Gower)
| August 22, 2021 7:30 AM
The Trade Center Building at the Flathead County Fairgrounds was buzzing with activity early Saturday morning as local 4-H and FFA students were busy preparing steers, hogs and lambs for the Market Livestock Sale.
While students, instructors, organizers, volunteers, parents and other supporters had been working toward the sale for months, nobody was planning to break sale and buyer records for yet another consecutive year.
By the end of the event, a record 255 unique buyers had registered and a grand total of $797,236.50 was raised, a 24% increase over last year's sale total. Students who raise each animal get to keep all the money they make from the sale, and many use the money to purchase an animal for next year or start a savings account.
Kicking off the sale of 252 total animals, Dillon Jewett sold his grand champion steer to Super 1 Foods for $7.50 per pound, and Ella Rauch sold her reserve champion steer to Les Schwab Tire Center for $5 per pound.
In the hog category, Kinzey Davis sold her grand champion hog to Corwin Auto Group for $13.25 per pound, and Emily Lockhart sold her reserve champion hog for $10.75 per pound to McDonald's of the Flathead.
Wrapping up the sale, reigning 2020 Grand Champion Bailey Lake sold her 2021 lamb to Sargent Transportation for $21 per pound and Reserve Champion Emma Brist sold her lamb to Schellinger Construction Co. for $20.25 per pound.
New this year, the Market Livestock Sale was conducted in a hybrid format, with live in-person bidding at the fairgrounds and live online biding. Among those bidding in person, many of the successful buyers were able to meet the students who raised each animal and learn about their experiences.
"After I put my lamb back in her pen, I got to go thank my buyer," said Bella Moran, a sixth-grader from Somers who sold her lamb to the Murdoch's Ranch and Home Supply in Kalispell. "We put together a thank-you package that had a note, coffee card, treats and some other things."
Bella also connected with nearly every other buyer in the stands who bid on her lamb, in hopes of fostering a relationship with them to have another successful sale next year.
The annual sale has been organized by FFA, 4-H, the Northwest Montana Fair and the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce for over 45 years.
Kate Lufkin is the director of education and workforce for the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce.