By CHERIL VERNON
The 39th Annual Anderson County Youth Livestock Show’s 2013 premium sale Thursday brought in thousands of dollars to help local students, while marking the end of another year of hard work for hundreds of exhibitors, parents, 4-H leaders, FFA teachers and volunteers.
Old Cayuga 4-H member Haley Barnett’s grand champion steer brought in $5,000 from All Star Ford during the auction.
“I’m excited. I’ve been showing animals since I was in the third grade. I’ve won a lot of jackpot shows, 14 to 15 belts, but I’ve never won at the livestock show,” Barnett said after the auction. “This is what I do. I don’t play sports. I show steers.”
Barnett, daughter of Krystal and Andy Magee of Cayuga and granddaughter of Toby and Linda Barnett of Montalba and Charlie and Barbara Wright of Cayuga, is an eighth grader at Cayuga Middle School. A die-hard Aggie fan, she plans to use the money she made toward her scholarship fund, hoping to one day become a county extension agent.
All Star Ford dealer Fernando Varela said he bought the grand champion steer to support education.
“I like helping Anderson County youth, so that they can have a better future,” Varela said. “We are invested in our community.”
Though the monies were still be tallied as of press time Thursday, last year’s show brought in $277,165 for local youth, and the ACYLA board of directors was hoping for even more this year.
Also during the premium sale, the following students received top dollars for their grand and reserve champions: Reserve grand champion steer, Breck Alexander of Cayuga FFA, $3,500; grand champion swine, Kamden Wade of Neches Jr. FFA, $2,300; reserve grand champion swine, Garrett Gunnels of Cayuga FFA, $2,250; grand champion lamb, Shelby Swinnea of Cayuga 4-H, $2,000; reserve grand champion lamb, Reann Richards of Cayuga FFA, $2,000; grand champion goat, Ciara Parker of Westwood FFA, $2,200; reserve grand champion goat, Shelby Swinnea of Cayuga 4-H, $1,000; grand champion broiler, Jim Riley Snider of Neches Jr. FFA, $1,000; reserve grand champion broiler, Kamden Wade of Neches Jr. FFA, $1,000; grand champion rabbit, Chance Harding of Elkhart 4-H, $1,000; reserve grand champion rabbit, $1,100; grand champion project (cedar picnic table set), Beau Bailey of Ioni Creek 4-H, $1,400; and reserve grand champion project (metal fish fryer), Hunter Luce of Westwood FFA, $1,100.
Cayuga native Bret Richard served as the auctioneer.
The 2013 show was dedicated to Mark Betts, a man who has spent his entire career teaching and serving the youth of Anderson County. Betts retired after serving as an agriculture teacher for more than 30 years at Cayuga Independent School District. He also served on the ACYLA Board of Directors and was instrumental in the building and foundation of the show.