Local lamb picked as state best
A Craig resident and her lamb took top honors and a big cash payment at the Colorado State Fair this week in Pueblo.
Amanda Buckner was awarded grand champion of the 1999 Market Lamb Selection with a Suffolk lamb that weighed in at 132 pounds.
Buckner is one of the 105 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) participants from around the state who participated Wednesday in the junior livestock sale at the State Fair after being named grand or reserved champion in their categories.
Buckner’s lamb set a record for the highest amount of money ever paid in the lamb category at the fair. While she was pleased with her success at the Moffat County Fair held earlier this month, Buckner was overcome with emotion when she won at the state level.
“I didn’t even expect to even make the sale,” said Buckner. “When I made the sale I started crying.”
Only grand champions and reserved champions are allowed to participate in the sale.
Buckner sold her lamb for $16,500 to the Friends of the Fair group, which consists of several state fair vendors. The top lamb last year sold for $12,500.
It was hard for Buckner to say goodbye to the lamb she worked with every morning and night since she picked him out in March.
“I was pretty sad when I said my last goodbye, but the $16,000 helped me feel a little bit better,” said Buckner.
Buckner credits help from her family to her success at the fair.
“My mom, my dad and my brothers helped me so much. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” said Buckner.
Buckner’s lamb helped to set a new record at the fair for the highest amount of money ever made by the Colorado State Fair Junior Livestock Sale. The sale, the largest of its kind in Colorado, brought in $268,150, all of which goes back to the 105 youth who sold their lambs, hogs and beef cattle.
Buckner is going to use her prize money for college. She plans to attend North Eastern Junior College near Sterling, Colo., in the spring to study teaching.
DeLaine Brown, Moffat County Extension director and 4-H youth agent, was thrilled to have a Moffat County Fair participant do so well at the state level.
“We’re tickled to death for her,” said Brown. “She has worked darn hard the whole time she has been raising her lambs.”
More than 200 buyers from across Colorado participated in the sale as a way of supporting the future of the statewide agricultural business.
After two days of competition at the Colorado State High School Rodeo Association State Finals, riders and ropers from Moffat and Routt counties are making their way into the home stretch.