04/13/07 — Showing for highest bids

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Showing for highest bids

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on April 13, 2007 2:00 PM

Rachel McCullen thought she and her hog were getting the old heave-ho out of the ring.

The 9-year-old's 275-pound market hog was being rambunctious during Thursday's 59th annual Wayne County Junior Livestock Show and Sale, and it caught the judge's attention.

"It was scary," the Carver Elementary student recalled when judge Dr. John Rayfield began pointing in her direction. "I thought he was asking me to get out of the ring because my hog kept trying to start fights."

Turns out, Rayfield, a professor of agriculture studies at North Carolina State University, was naming Rachel the grand champion.

Fear immediately turned to elation.

The award was Rachel's second in as many days. She won the reserve champion award for her meat goat on Wednesday, trailing behind her brother, Adam, who won the grand champion award.

Rachel netted a $3-per-pound bid from B&B Chlorination for her hog and a $3.80-per-pound bid from Holly Grove Farm for her meat goat. Adam received a $4.20-per-pound bid from a list of several buyers for his grand champion meat goat.

Rachel wasn't the anxious showman on Thursday.

Spring Creek Elementary student Justin Price also was caught off-guard when Rayfield looked his way during the show.

He saw the judge was saying something, but his message was being drowned out by the loud grunts resonating throughout the arena.

He, too, was a winner.

"All of the noise made me nervous at first when the judge looked at me," Justin said after winning the junior showmanship award.

Justin, Rachel and Adam were just three of several winners during Wednesday and Thursday's livestock show and sale, which gives local children the chance to learn how to groom and train goats, calves and hogs and then present their hard work to their peers and a judge.

Many of the presenters said they have been working with their animals since the beginning of the year in preparation for this week's event -- and judge Rayfield's critique.

Rayfield judged all categories, including showmanship awards, grand champion and reserve champion for the meat goat, market hog and feeder calf categories.

Although many of the presenters wanted the best scores, they also hoped for the best bids for their animals Thursday night during the auction.

This year, there were 44 pigs, 42 goats and four calves presented during the livestock show, which is sponsored by the Wayne County Livestock Development Association. And each one was shown again Thursday night by their owner and auctioneer Don Musgrave.

Some of the highest bids went to the event's grand and reserve champions. On Wednesday, Jesse Grady and his 625-pound calf were named the feeder calf grand champion and the two pulled in a $5-per-pound bid from a list of several buyers the following night.

The feeder calf reserve champion, Avery Faulkner, received an $0.85-per-pound bid from Musgrave Auction Co. for his 445-pound calf.

Thursday's market hog reserve champion was John Nathan Howard. Later in the night, he received a $1.70-per-pound bid from Nahunta Pork for his 280-pound hog.

Other winners Thursday included Maura Phipps, 16, of Spring Creek High School. Miss Phipps has been showing animals for the past three years and she received the senior showmanship award for the work she displayed with her 280-pound hog. Senior showmanship awards are handed out to presenters between the ages of 14 and 19.

Price followed Miss Phipps by winning the junior showmanship award, which is given to the best presenter between the ages of 9 and 13.

The hog category also has a novice showmanship award, which is given to the best presenter between the ages of 5 and 8. Courtney Butler, 8, spent the past three months working with her hog, "Tom," and the novice award. This year marked the second year Courtney showed a hog. She won the grand champion market hog award last year.

Other honors presented Thursday night included a $500 scholarship from KS Bank to Whitli Thornton. Miss Thornton has shown animals for about the past decade at the livestock show and sale, including a 260-pound hog this year, and has also shown livestock at the state and county fairs. She plans to attend Wayne Community College and eventually transfer to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to pursue a career in nursing.

Lehman Smith was presented with a plaque for being the top sponsor at last year's Wayne County Junior Livestock Show and Sale. Plaques also went out to this year's outstanding achievers in each category. The winners for the feeder calf, market hog and meat goat categories were Jesse Grady, Alan Johnson and Randa Boykin, respectively. Each was given an additional $100 from the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce for the sale of their animal.

James B. Sasser Construction Co. presented this year's extra effort awards of $100 for presenters who went above and beyond the work of their peers while maintaining good sportsmanship. Those winners included Elizabeth Rowe, Jacob Sauls and Marisa Linton.