Middle Park Fair and Rodeo’s Junior Livestock sale breaks record
Reserve champion Madison Mullinex heads to National Western Stock Show
In just her second year raising cattle, 4-H member Madison Mullinex had her cow Reggie not only named the reserve champion at the Middle Park Fair and Rodeo, but the duo will take part in the National Western Stock Show in Denver.
At Saturday’s Junior Livestock Sale, Summit Ford bought Madison’s 1,153-pound steer for $9,200. Ford then agreed to donate the cow back to Madison so she can show him at the national level.
“That’s huge for me,” said Madison, a junior at Middle Park High School. “I get to work with him more and get him a little heavier.”
Additionally, her two turkeys fetched $400 each and her pig went for $3,300.
Madison wasn’t the only 4-H member to make good at this year’s sale with the auction breaking records by raising over $304,000, including basket sales and add-on donations.
Last year, the sale brought in around $222,000, which was the previous record.
Having been drawn in by the Junior Livestock Sales at the fair and rodeo as an audience member, Madison has been a 4-H member for seven years. She started by raising turkeys and pigs, as well as competing in archery.
“4-H has given me so many opportunities and experiences,” Madison said. “Each year, I’ve learned something new and gotten better.”
Then, looking for more of a challenge, Madison decided to add cows to her roster. Of the animals 4-H members can show and sell, cows are the most time consuming and cost intensive.
Madison got Reggie in October 2020 when he was about 7 months old. From there, she would spend a few hours each day feeding, grooming, walking and socializing the steer.
As a show cow, Reggie gets a careful diet of both hay and grain to keep him in good shape and his long hair needs more grooming than other cattle breeds. Madison estimated his care cost around $7,000 over 11 months.
“I love watching them grow,” she said. “I put in a lot of work, so it’s nice to see it pay off. The end result really makes me proud of what I’ve done.”
Any profit Madison makes on the sale of her livestock will be saved for college. She plans to be an orthopedic surgeon, which she said actually shares more in common with her 4-H education than one might think.
“I feel like the skills I’ve learned in 4-H will help anywhere in life, like leadership, public speaking, communication and teamwork,” Madison said.
Madison got a chance to use some of those skills and share her passion for raising livestock during this year’s tour of champions.
At fairs past, the grand champion and reserve champion animals and owners would parade around the fairgrounds and town to celebrate their accomplishments. This year, the livestock sale committee planned a tour of champions, where fair attendees could meet the grand champion and reserve champion animals and their owners to talk about the process of raising livestock and competing in 4-H.
Livestock sale committee member Jacob Walter, who led the tour before the sale on Saturday, said the goal of the tour was to educate more people about agriculture through the more personal experience. The tour group heard from 4-H members ranging from first-year participants to those who have been taking part for over a decade.
Overall, buyers at this year’s livestock sale were generous in their purchases. Many animals were donated back to 4-H members or the meat was donated to local nonprofits, while buyers added funds on the back end of sales or pledged money to 4-H scholarship funds.
Grand Champion — Tally Harthun
Reserve Champion — Madison Mullinex
Grand Champion — Christopher Mullinex
Reserve Champion — Mea Miller
Grand Champion — Lyndee Thomson
Reserve Champion — Ryder Pryor
Grand Champion — Kenna Wall
Reserve Champion — Trace Lewis
Grand Champion — Samuel Cameron
Reserve Champion — Samuel Cameron
Grand Champion — Jackson Salyards
Reserve Champion — Addyson Salyards
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Grand County Higher Education is offering two spreadsheet classes this month.