Auction earns thousands for kids (w/ gallery, video)
Two hundred and seventy five animals were auctioned at the Victoria Livestock Auction on Monday evening at the Victoria Livestock Show.
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Carly Williams tucked her broiler underneath her arm.
She had some jitters as she stepped into a blue pen in front of hundreds of people at the Victoria Community Center Monday night but didn't show it.
She flipped one of her three broilers - named Chicken, Al, and Fredo - upside down and wore a smile on her face instead. In the end, she was rewarded with $5,500 from Blanton Builders.
"I was actually kind of nervous because you don't know how much you're going to get or what they're going to start off with," said Carly, a ninth-grader at St. Joseph High School.
"I used to have a nickname. They would call me 'Smiley.' ... It touches up to here," Carly said afterward, pointing to her temple.
Buyers from the community paid about $117,000 for the grand and reserve champion animals.
Carly has been showing animals at the Victoria Livestock Show for seven years, but for others, like exchange student Lara Sanz, the auction was a whirlwind experience.
Sanz is from Austria and at first did not want to come to the Lone Star State because she heard it was hot.
She posts photos of life in Victoria on Facebook.
"I basically told them (my friends back home) that it's exactly what they would expect. Sometimes, it's just like a movie," Lara said.
She had ridden horses before but never interacted with something as big as her 1,261-pound exotic steer, Superman.
"He's your typical boy and does whatever he wants," Lara said.
Before hosing him down with soap and water, Lara wondered how she would feel not having him around anymore.
"I'm not quite sure because it's kind of sad, too," she said.
Her host mom, Nadine Van Beveren, patted her on the back and added, "If you didn't have those feelings, we'd be worried."
Both Van Beveren and Carly's father, David, agree participating in the livestock show offers children invaluable lessons.
"I'm just happy, happy, happy," Carly's father said. "The most we've ever gotten for a broiler is $2,200."
Carly and his other daughter, Lauren, a junior at St. Joseph High School, want to go to Texas A&M University and are saving up, he said.
Lauren, who earned 10th place in broilers, is also hardworking, and sometimes, the girls can get very competitive with one another.
"I pick my battles. That's all I can say. Sometimes, it's not very tranquil in my house," he said.
And there's been a lot of trial and error through the years, too.
The first year the girls participated, they each started out with 50 chickens. About 40 chickens keeled over within a week.
"We were accidentally giving the chickens twice as many vitamins," he said. "We've learned everything the hard way."
Van Beveren's daughter, Shelbie, a 17-year-old St. Joseph High School student, taught Lara, 16, how to feed, wash and put the animals into position while juggling her own animals.
"I had to be more patient," Shelbie said.
Both Shelbie and Lara won fourth place in the heavyweight and medium heavyweight classes of steer, respectively.
Shelbie sold her steer, Loco, for $4,250. Lara sold her steer for $4,000.
Eventually, Shelbie and her mom turned Lara into a country girl.
"By Thanksgiving, she finally wanted some boots," Van Beveren said, chuckling.
Jack Perry, of the Industrial Future Farms of America, sold his grand champion steer to Victoria Business Leaders for $13,000; Jacy Roessler, of Aloe 4-H, sold her grand champion hog to the Specialty Group for $7,000; and Dylan Perkins, of Guadalupe 4-H, sold his grand champion lamb to Friends of Victoria County Youth for $8,500.
Amy Hessler, of Industrial FFA, sold her grand champion carcass steer to Gulf Coast Buyers for $7,000; Reese Bludau, of Kelly Creek 4-H, sold his grand champion carcass hog to Victoria's Business Friends for $6,000; and Brittany Berger, of Inez 4-H, sold her carcass lamb to Twin Pines Nursing and Twin Pines North for $5,500.
Carson Kabela, of Westwood 4-H, sold his grand champion rabbit to H-E-B for $3,500; Sarah Eastham, of Rough Riders 4-H, sold her grand champion goat to Victoria Outlaws for $5,000; and Sarah Diebel, of Westwood 4-H, sold her reserve grand champion steer to Prosperity Bank, Atzenhoffer Chevrolet and John Deere Tractor, for $8,500.
Will Lau, of Nursery 4-H, sold his reserve grand champion hog to H-E-B, M&W Rentals, Sonic and Atzenhoffer Chevrolet for $8,500; Caroline Scherer, of Kelly Creek 4-H, sold her reserve grand champion lamb to Specialty Group for $5,000; and Haley Leita, of Industrial FFA, sold her reserve champion carcass steer to Schroeder Welding and First Bank Louise for $7,500.
Audrey Garrett, of Westwood 4-H, sold her reserve champion carcass hog to Victoria Business Leaders for $5,000; Hayden Tucker, of Guadalupe 4-H, sold his reserve champion carcass lamb to Victoria Business Friends for $6,500; and Caleb Korczynski, of Victoria East FFA, sold his reserve champion pen of three broilers to First Community Bank for $4,000.
Kendall Kabela, of Westwood 4-H, sold his reserve champion rabbit to First National Bank, Atzenhoffer Chevrolet and Allan's Wrecker Service; and Carly Pickett, of Inez 4-H, sold her reserve grand champion goat to Victoria Outlaws and M&W Rentals for $5,500.