Bull sale nets more than $98,000

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North Western Colorado Bull Sale

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— Consigners brought their cattle, buyers brought their checkbooks and everyone brought their appetites Saturday to the sixth annual North Western Colorado Bull Sale at the Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden.

Northwest Colorado-raised bulls and heifers, from Routt County to Rifle, netted a total of $98,070 at auction, Community Agriculture Alliance Executive Director Marsha Daughenbaugh said.

"The prices were down, but it held steady for us, so we're very pleased," Daughenbaugh said.

The 47 bulls on the auction block Saturday sold for an average of $1,844 each, the same average bull price as the 2007 auction. The 14 heifers averaged a selling price of $801 each, Daughenbaugh said.

"We've got a beautiful day, a wonderful crowd and some fine-looking cattle," commentator Bill Gay said. "I think we've got the best bulls and heifers today that we've had in the history of the auction."

The auction was organized by the Community Agriculture Alliance, the Routt County branch of the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service and the Routt County CattleWomen, who served up lunch to hungry auction-goers. Not surprisingly, beef was on the menu.

The first bull sale, in 2003, netted $68,250 in sales. Last year, the bull sale earned $88,000. At the auction, 100 percent of the bid price goes to the consigners.

Rancher Betty Likely brought four Black Angus bulls to auction from Eagle View Angus Ranch in Collbran. Since the North Western Colorado Bull Sale is one of the latest of the year, Likely brought her ranch's four youngest yearling bulls to Hayden.

"We bring our young ones here because it gives them a little more time to grow," Likely said.

Lot No. 65, a bull from the Carnahan Angus ranch in Rifle, was voted Rancher's Choice by registered buyers and consigners, and was first in the ring, where he sold for $3,300.

"He's the leading bull in the nation today," Gay said. "You can travel all over the country and not find a better bull than this."

The second place vote-getter, a bull from Aric Gerber and Stacy Gray's 5-Bar Angus ranch in Craig, sold for $2,800.

Buyer Jean Stetson, who keeps about 50 head at her ranch near Craig, was taking stock of the cattle up for auction Saturday.

"We're looking for both heifers and bulls," Stetson said. "Heifers to replace some of the older cows, and some new bulls because you have to rotate them every now and then."

Although most of the bulls up for auction calmly strutted their stuff in the ring, a few were less cooperative in front of the crowd.

"Take a good look at him, 'cause we're gonna let him out quick before he tries to jump out," auctioneer Troy Allen said of particularly riled up bull.

- To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com

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