By Karissa Condoianis
The 75th Annual Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction raised a record-breaking preliminary amount for Texas youth, bringing in more than $2.2 million. The Auction kicked off on Friday, Oct. 6, with the sale of the Grand Champion Market Steer. This year’s prize-winning steer was purchased by Frank Deel with his generous bid of $160,000, a new record for the State Fair of Texas.
With 424 steers competing in the Youth Market Steer Show this year, earning the Grand Champion title was no easy feat. After hundreds of steers and hours of judging, the final decision was made; Jett Hale from Roberts County 4-H, age 15, took home the grand prize for his winning steer, “Bryce.”
Elizabeth Norwood from Ellis County 4-H sold her Reserve Grand Champion Market Steer to State Fair Concessionaires and State Fair Rides and Games Operators for $50,000. The Grand Champion Market Barrow, owned by Bryleigh Beyers of Hale County 4-H, sold to the Briscoe and Carpenter families for $30,000. Hagan Burzynski of Grimes County 4-H sold his Grand Champion Market Broiler to Chris Rozzell for $26,000.
The Grand Champion Market Lamb, owned by Holden Wise of Brown County 4-H, sold to the Amy & Les Ware Foundation for $30,000, and the Grand Champion Market Goat, owned by Blaze Mock of Erath County 4-H, sold to The Chambless Family Foundation for $35,000.
An annual tradition since 2015, full-time employees of the State Fair of Texas pitch in to purchase an animal in the Auction. Continuing that tradition for the eighth year in a row, the State Fair team bid on two animals, a Breed Champion Market Barrow owned by Lexi York of Valley View FFA, for $12,000, and a Breed Reserve Champion Market Barrow owned by Madisyn Henderson of Carson County 4-H, for $6,000. Because the Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Program truly embodies the State Fair’s mission of promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement, the team feels very passionate about contributing to this cause.