The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which wrapped up just two days ago, promotes agriculture by annually hosting a family-friendly, educational experience. Cornerstone events such as the Junior Market Barrow Auction and the poultry, and lamb and goat auctions all shattered records this year as bids flew in the name of youth and goodwill.
Funds raised through livestock sales in Houston pay out a minimum guaranteed amount up to a cap amount for each exhibitor dependent on placing. Aside from directly supporting selling youth, bidding that exceeds the cap amount goes into the rodeo’s Educational Fund to be used for scholarship and grant recipients. Guaranteed premiums are listed on the Rodeo website here.
»Related: 4-H and showing livestock from the other side of the ring
Barrow sale breaks two rodeo records
This year’s Barrow Sale smashed previous records. The Grand Champion Barrow, shown by 14-year-old Crowell FFA member Sage Bearden, topped 2022’s record of $250,000, selling for $375,000 to Gregg Reyes — Reytec Construction, Sabra Smith, Kathy and Matt Norris and Lisa Blackwood.
According to the rodeo staff, Bearden cried after the total was announced. “I never dreamed that I would be here,” Bearden told staff.
The Reserve Grand Champion Barrow, exhibited by 14-year-old Kerr County 4-H member Zachary “Ky” Blount broke last year’s record of $200,000, selling for $320,000 to Sheri and Rob Walker, Andrea and Scott Fish, Sherry and Connard Barker, and Mark Ward.
Poultry auction sets four new rodeo records
Exhibitor Kamryn Till, 18, from Nada, Texas, and her Grand Champion Junior Market broilers sold for $300,000, a new rodeo record. The El Campo FFA senior said this is an accomplishment for not only herself, but her family.
“This has been a family project,” Hill said. “My parents have spent countless hours with me to raise these chickens.
Hill’s broilers were purchased by Becky and Kelly Joy, J Alan Kent Development — Julie and Alan Kent, Debbie and Joey McGuire, and Cheryl and Barry Heaton.
Joey McGuire, is the head football coach at Texas Tech University, who showed up to purchase animals for the second year, saying he knows how important the show and sale is to exhibitors. “This helps them advance in what they want to do,” McGuire told Houston Rodeo staff.
The Reserve Grand Champion Junior Market Broilers was exhibited by Gage Wilson an eight-year-old El Campo FFA member. His birds were sold for $175,000, breaking last year’s rodeo record of $165,000.
Wilson’s broilers were sold to Lauren and Darrell Palmer, Dr. Hanna Lindskog and Jonathan Rhoads, Holly and John Knudsen IV, and Josh Harrison.
“Giving back allows us to give the same opportunities I was given,” Harrison told rodeo staff. “We just want to support the kids.”
The Grand Champion Junior Market Turkey, Boss Hogg, shown by La Vernia FFA member Tyler John, brought in $200,000, setting a new Rodeo record. According to the Houston Rodeo, John plans on studying Diesel Mechanics at Del Mar College in the fall. John’s turkey was purchased by Gregory N. Miller, Mary and Joe Chastang, Dayna and Trey Willbanks, and Jennifer and Doug Bosch.
Trent Ellebracht, a 16-yearold student from La Vernia, Texas, sold his Reserve Grand Champion Junior Market Turkey, Big Mama, for $195,000, setting one more Rodeo record for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. After graduating high school, Trent hopes to attend Texas A&M University to study chemistry. Billy Parker, Mach Industrial Group — Kathleen and Tom Mach purchased Ellebracht’s turkey.
Houston lamb and goat auction sets two records
The Hildebrand Family purchased the Grand Champion Junior Market Lamb, a medium wool named Prince, for a world record of $350,000. The champion lamb was exhibited by 17-year-old John Austin North, from Sanger, Texas. According to the Rodeo, North plans to attend Angelo State University next fall where he will major in animal science to become an animal chiropractor and compete on the wool judging team.
Lubbock County 4-H member Brynlee Hogg sold her Grand Champion Market Goat, Peanut, for a Houston record breaking $240,000. Skip Avara, Melissa and Jimmy Guinn II, Fire Safe Protection Services, L.P. — Lizzy and Stephen McKinney, and Tea and Bill Pinkley made this year’s Grand Champion purchase. Sixteen-year-old Hogg plans to attend Texas A&M University to major in animal science to become a large animal veterinarian.