“Sold for $11,500” was music to 15-year-old Landon Boland’s ears.
His Grand Champion steer cashed in for more than he has ever won before at the sale of champions at the 39th annual Denton County Livestock Association Youth Fair & Rodeo on Saturday afternoon.
Boland’s winning stock was a nearly 2-year-old exotic breed weighing in at 1,344 pounds. A member of the Sanger FFA club, Boland has been active with the livestock show for the past seven years and is a five-time Grand Champion winner.
“This is my first year to be with Sanger FFA,” he said. “I used to participate with the Denton County 4-H Club.”
Decked out in a crisp button-down shirt and jeans, Boland said the reason he keeps coming back is because it’s a good way to earn money for school.
“It’s also just an learning opportunity all around and you get to meet new people,” Boland said.
In a crowded auction that also featured winning rabbits, lambs, swine and food items, Pilot Point FFA member Dakota David scored $5,500 for his Reserve Grand Champion steer.
“I was really nervous,” said David, a fourth-grader at Pilot Point Intermediate. “I’m just looking forward to the new season already.”
His exotic steer was a little over a year and a half old and weighed 1,276 pounds. David has participated for two years and is looking forward to putting some of what he earned away into a college fund while investing the rest in another steer to show next year.
Will he consider choosing a different animal to show next time?
“No ma’am, steers are more fun,” he said with a smile underneath his black cowboy hat.
The weeklong show came to a conclusion with the rodeo and crowning of the 2014 Youth Fair Rodeo Queen and Princess on Saturday night.
An estimated 1,000 entries were received for showing this year with 20 area FFA and 4-H groups participating, organizers said.
“We have had more kids showing this year, but the number of animals shown is about the same,” said Suzanne Fulton, the show’s superintendent.
The tractor driving competition, though, has been down the last couple of years. Officials said they hope to get those numbers back up.
Fulton said the show is put on with the generous work of volunteers each year and she couldn’t muster through the 18-hour days without their help.
“Twenty-five years ago I graduated from being a participant to become a volunteer,” she told the crowd Saturday afternoon. “At least half [the volunteers] don’t even have kids showing, but they do it for your kids.”
For more information on the Denton County Livestock Association Youth Fair & Rodeo, and how you can help next year, visit www.dclayf.net.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.