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– It was a record setting livestock sale at the 2022 Marias Fair and Joe Flesch was kept busy taking bids along with Dean Lerum, Travis Clark, and Andy Van Haur.  The sale was auctioneered by Jeff Flesch and Ryan Perry.

The 2022 Marias Fair 4-H livestock sale was nothing short of record setting. The sale grossed $602,224.00, an increase of nearly $75,000 on eight fewer animals than last year. This year, 115 head were sold while 123 head grossed $527,269.34 in 2021. Average prices were all record-setting as well.

4-H Livestock Committee Vice-President, Dr. Chad Scarborough noted, “I am continually impressed by the care and support our area gives our youth. This year’s record-breaking sale shows just that. Our 4-H kids and families work hard to produce an exceptional animal and our sale reflects that effort. Thank you to everyone for making this such an outstanding year.”

After a two-year hiatus, the pre-sale social returned prior to the sale where livestock committee members and 4-Hers served up samples of lamb, goat, beef, pork and appetizers for potential bidders and buyers to kick off the event.

Kolby Lohr’s 1,255 market beef topped the steer sales at $14.25/lb., selling to Dwayne and Jan Irvin of Shelby. Delaney Clark’s Grand Champion, a 1,325-pound Simmental cross entry sold to Fretheim Grain and Bobcat Angus for $7.50/lb. The Reserve Champion steer was a 1,500 Charolais/Angus cross from Cole Waldusky which garnered a $5/lb. bid from Balko Inc. Overall, 52 steers averaged $6.05/lb., compared to $5.16/lb. in 2021 on the same number of head.

With just three market goats selling, bidding was hot. Kendra Farkell’s 72-pound goat topped the sale at $28/lb. to Simplot. Madalyne Stokes exhibited the 96-pound Grand Champion which sold to M7 Builders for $18.50/lb. and Logan Waldusky’s 102-pound Reserve Champion sold to Rocker S Ranch Trucking for $25/lb. Compared to 2021 when two goats averaged $11/lb., this year’s three head averaged $23.83/lb.

The high selling lamb was the final lot of the day, a 117-pound entry from Mac McCauley that garnered a $21/lb. bid from Dwayne and Jan Irvin. Irvins also purchased the 150-pound Grand Champion of Madalyne Stokes for $14/lb. Kale Stokes had the 133-pound Reserve Champion lamb which sold to Dry Fork Plumbing and Heating for $20/lb. Eleven lambs averaged $12.82/lb. while in 2021 nine head averaged $8.94/lb.

The swine division was topped by Katelyn Suta with her 243-pound swine bringing $24.50/lb. to Connelly Angus. Leavitt Group Insurance purchased the Grand Champion swine for $12.75/lb., a 275-pound entry from Kale Stokes. I & T Transfer purchased the Reserve Champion swine, a 285-pound exhibit from Madalyne Stokes. Average swine prices were up as well with 49 head averaging $12.96/lb. while in 2021, 60 swine averaged $9.48/lb.

Throughout the sale, 4-H members Wyatt Berkram, Kyle Harmon and Cade Hanson each received $700 Livestock Committee scholarships. Kyle Harmon also received a $700 Livestock

Committee carcass scholarship and Josh Kearns was recognized with the $550 Mary Jane Kinyon Memorial award. Wyatt Berkram earned an extra $300 with the Mary Perry Memorial award in recognition of his service throughout the fair while Hadley Barbie received the Dean Peterson Memorial Award of $100 for her leadership and generosity in 4-H.

Jeff Flesch of Flesch Angus and Ryan Perry of Western Livestock Auction served as the auctioneers with Dean Lerum, Andy Van Haur, Travis Clark, and Joe Flesch assisting ringside. Jerry Collins from Collins Auctions clerked the sale which also provided an online bidding option again.

There were 10 animals generously donated back to various 4-H committees. While the 4-Her receives the full sale price of their animal, the animal is then resold at market value with the proceeds from the second sale going to the original buyer’s 4-H committee of choice. Torgersons, Dwayne and Jan Irvin, Frontline Ag Solutions, Geneva Sisk, Lohr Family Farms, Dick Irvin Inc., 3 Rivers Communications, Rocker S Trucking, and Simplot all donated livestock back. These donations will benefit the 4-H Livestock, Food Booth, and Exhibit Building committees along with Breauna Erickson’s fairgrounds Sidewalk Project.

The sale also included the finale of Glacier County 4-Her Hadley Barbie’s ‘Kiss the Pig’ contest. Barbie was named the state Career Communications winner at Montana 4-H Congress in Bozeman the week prior and ran a ‘Kiss the Pig’ fundraiser throughout the fair to raise funds for her trip to National 4-H Congress. Fairgoers voted with their cash for Jeremy Curry, Jesse Fulbright, Andy Van Haur, Stefanie Leach, Travis Clark, or Eric Morrisett to kiss a pig prior to the start of the sale. Runner-Up winner was Liberty County extension agent, Jesse Fulbright, with $347.09 in his coffee can while Jeremy Curry was the 1st Place ‘winner’ with $488.21 donated in his name. Jeremy dutifully applied the lipstick to Katelyn Suta’s pig and gave it a quick peck to start off the 2022 Marias Fair livestock sale. In total, $1,057.86 was raised.

A big thank you to the following 65 buyers: 3 Rivers Communications, Apex Angus, Balko Inc., Barr Gustafson, DVM, Ben Taylor Inc., Big Sky Equipment Co., Billman’s Home Décor, Billman’s Inc., Blonde Farms, Bobcat Angus, BTI Feeds, CHS Inc., Connelly Angus Inc., Conrad Building Center, Curry Cattle Co., Cut Bank Auto Body, Cut Bank Tire, Diamond R, Dick Irvin Inc., Dry Fork Ag, Dry Fork Plumbing and Heating, First Bank of Montana, First Interstate Bank, First State Bank – Shelby, Flesch Family Benefit and Rockstar Cattle, Frasers Oil, Fretheim Grain, Frielings Agricultural Equipment, Frontline Ag, Glacier Electric Cooperative, I & T Transfer, Independence Bank, Dwayne and Jan Irvin, Johnson Cattle Company, JW Feeds, Ramona Kinyon, Larsen Production Inc., Leavitt Group Insurance, Ledger Elevator, Lohr Farm Company, M7 Builders, Marias River Ranches, Marias Vet Clinic, MT Ag, Napa Auto Parts, Norman’s Western Wear, Northern Ford, Northern Vet Clinic, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Rocker S Ranch Trucking, Rocky Ridge Angus, Seubert Insurance, Simplot, Sisk Ranch Inc., So-Lo Air, State Farm Insurance, Stockman Bank, Stokes Fencing, Tillman Equipment, Torgerson’s LLC, Wanken Farms, Western Livestock Auction, White Owl Realty, Windrift Hill Inc., and WWMT Consulting LLC.

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