Coast Union FFA students have made impressive profits once again this year from the animals they raised and showed at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles. Fifteen FFA students competed with 16 animals, including two goats, nine market hogs, four “replacement heifers” and one steer.
The Friday night heifer auction (July 28) netted Coast students $21,304; and during Saturday’s livestock auction (July 29), Coast students profited by $23,564. The total earnings for the 15 students were $44,868, a hefty increase over last year’s $34,000, according to FFA adviser Darcy Dobrec.
“Every student made a handsome financial profit on their projects and learned valuable life skills such as teamwork, responsibility, dedication and hard work in the process,” Dobrec wrote in an email interview.
(A replacement heifer is a female calf chosen for its potential to produce offspring, not to be sold for beef production.)
The following students showed replacement heifers at the fair: Brandon Laredo, Ani Corbet, Alyssa Drew and Paige Spiller. Laredo also showed a market steer and placed second in his market class. Spiller won her market class; Corbet took third in her class and Drew placed fourth in her market class.
These students raised market hogs: Emma Sison, Angelina Perez, Angelique Gutierrez, Isabella Raethke, Nik Robertson, Joseph Crowe, Ayona Stonehill and Annika Wharton. Zoe Markham and Noah Calvin raised market goats.
Sison took eighth out of 45 students in the Championship Drive for Showmanship, and Wharton placed ninth in that category.
Figures for fair entries overall were up over 2016, Tom Keffury, the fair’s sponsorship and publicity director, wrote in an email. This year’s unofficial junior livestock totals were $2.188 million for 850 animals, compared with 2016’s $2.096 million for 817 animals.
The overall total did not include “add-ons” as of Saturday night. “Add-ons” allow fair goers or interested parties to give additional money toward an animal’s purchase.
The average price for hogs was $8.79 per pound, down from $9.10 last year. The average price for goats was $14.05 per pound compared with $13.17 last year. The average price for steers was $4.01 per pound, down from $4.11 last year. For lambs, the average price was $12.83 per pound, down from $13.12 last year.
Overall totals for animals in each category:
▪ 87 heifers sold at $5,114.94 per head, totaling $445,000.
▪ 79 steers sold for $39,233.25.
▪ 178 lambs sold for $310,832.50.
▪ 447 hogs sold for $968,863.50.
▪ 48 goats sold for $58,909.
▪ 4 rabbit pens sold for $4,300 — an average of $268.75 per pen.
▪ 4 chicken pens sold for $7,825 — an average of $489.06 per pen.
Andrew Sheeler contributed to this report.
Angelique Gutierrez’s Pig
The pig that was raised and entered by Angelique Gutierrez (“Peppa”) came down with an infection at the fair and had to be disqualified. The Gutierrez family is holding a fundraiser to help Angelique recoup the money she invested in the pig (close to $1,000, including the cost of the pig and the feed over the many months).
Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased at the General Store in the West Village beginning Aug. 7. The drawing will be on Labor Day, and Angelique’s pig will be certified healthy at that time.
Details: Chris Gutierrez, 805-909-7806.