Auction might fetch higher prices this year
Feb. 27, 2011 at 10:02 p.m.
Updated Feb. 26, 2011 at 8:27 p.m.
Isaac Gutierrez and his father, Israel Gutierrez had hoped the third time would be a charm at the 2011 Victoria Livestock Show, but it just wasn't in the cards.
Isaac, 16, won reserve champion for his market lamb Friday. It was his third year in a row to win reserve.
"We were hoping for grand champion this year," Israel said, stepping away from the crowd that gathered to see the prize-winning lamb. "But we're still happy."
Isaac and other show participants take their animals to auction Monday in the Victoria Community Center dome.
It's difficult to determine just how well an auction will go beforehand, said John Pozzi, the stock show's general superintendent. But, with the economy seeing some improvement, he said, he and other organizers are hopeful.
"We're looking for a good sale," Pozzi said. "But we'll have to wait and see."
Victoria County rancher Kenneth Tater agreed the livestock market is faring better than in the past and attributed that partly to supply and demand.
The U.S. cattle inventory is at a low it hasn't seen since the 1950s, which drives prices up, he said. Exports are also up.
"We're feeding more people than we used to," said Tater, who also sits on the American Farm Bureau board.
He said he wasn't sure exactly how the issues might affect the auction.
"Generally, our sale translates more to what the Victoria economy has seen," he explained. "Hopefully, with oil and gas doing so well, we'll see some of that transfer to the auction."
The auction includes 275 sales slots each year and the number of animals that sell per division is determined by a percentage of overall participants, said Larry Green, chairman of the carcass lamb show.
This year, 76.6 percent of animals per division will sell, including 19 carcass hogs, 10 carcass lambs and so on.
Israel Gutierrez said he hoped to at least make back what the family spent on the lamb.
"We bought it for $2,000 and, with all the supplies and everything, probably put about $3,500 into it," he said. "Hopefully we'll make that. I guess we'll see."