Last chance to buy local bulls Saturday

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A late-season cattle sale Saturday will be the last opportunity for residents to purchase cattle locally.

At the Northwest Colorado Bull Sale, 66 bulls and 20 heifers will go to the highest bidders at the fourth annual cattle auction to be held at the Routt County Fairgrounds. A Scottish Highland bull also will be sold on a one-year lease.

The auction provides an opportunity for breeders to sell bulls locally. It also is a good opportunity and provides some value for local cattle producers because they do not have to travel as far with their purchases, said Marsha Daughenbaugh of the Community Agriculture Alliance.

The Community Agriculture Alliance, the Colorado State University Extension Service and Routt County CattleWomen will host the auction.

Daughenbaugh said all the cattle to be sold at the auction are testing well for fertility and that she expects the auction to be a success.

The auction was organized to support Yampa Valley cattle producers. Last year, 41 bulls were sold for an average of $2,087. Two pens of five heifers were sold for an average of $4,250.

Cattle auctions are a rarity in Northwest Colorado, and this auction will mark the last auction of the season.

In addition to the auction, there will be two speakers who will talk about issues affecting cattle producers.

"You have all these people that are connected with the industry in one way or another, and they want good-quality heifers, and it gives them a chance to network with people who are also connected with it," Daughenbaugh said.

John Heller of the Colorado Department of Agriculture will talk about future United States Department of Agriculture regulations. Heller is the coordinator for the Animal Identification Program. Soon, identification tags may be required on all livestock to help protect the U.S. food supply, Daughenbaugh said.

"It's another effort by cattle producers to produce high-quality products for the consumers in the U.S.," Daughenbaugh said.

Rick Furrow of Three State Feeders will talk about what characteristics feed lot owners look for when they purchase cattle.

Cattle viewing begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. The speakers will talk for about an hour at 10:30 a.m., and lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The auction will begin at 1 p.m.

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