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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Hokie Harvest Establishes New Records

Livestock Update, December 2004

Dr. Dan Eversole, Animal & Poultry Sciences, VA

The 2004 Livestock Merchandising Class entertained a record crowd of 850 friends and supporters on Halloween weekend at the 10th Annual Hokie Harvest Sale on Friday, October 29th. There were 24 university horses and 39 head (24 lots) of beef cattle sold concurrently at public auction in Campbell Arena (horses) and the Livestock Judging Pavilion (beef cattle) to registered buyers from Massachusetts, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. The beef cattle sale grossed $76,300 (new record) with a sale average of $3,179 with the following breed totals: Angus - $63,750; Hereford - $8,500; Simmental - $2,650; and Gelbvieh - $1,400. The horse sale grossed $94,200 (new record) with a sale average of $3,925. This yearıs sale gross totaled $170,500, which is the highest grossing sale (new record) since the inception of the Hokie Harvest in 1995. The sale of horses and beef cattle from Hokie Harvest Sales (1995 - 2004) has surpassed the $1M milestone!

In the cattle sale of four different breeds, Lot 10 topped the bred cow/calf division at $3,550. She is a high performing, embryo daughter of the Pathfinder Sire, Conneally Dateline, and has a nursing ratio of 1/104. This young Angus cow sold to Marvin Pence of Browntown, VA. Her fancy heifer calf, sired by Hyline Right Time 338, sold to Joseph Epperly of Moneta, VA.

In the bred cow division, Lot 14 was the sale topper at $5,100 and sold to Carey Arehart of Staunton, VA. This '00 daughter of GAR Expectation 4915 ranks in the top 4% among active Angus dams for WW (+45), YW (+85), $F (26.10), and $B (37.01) and sells safe-in-calf to GAR Integrity, this year's highest selling bull (1/2 interest for $250,000) in the Gardiner Angus Sale.

In the bred heifer division, Lot 17 drew the top bid of $4,400 from Carl Henry Benson III from Daleville, VA. This royally-bred Angus female is sired by Rito 6I6 and out of a high performing '036' daughter. This female replacement sells bred to GAR Integrity.

VPI Cruiser 3N41 (Lot 22) topped the yearling bull division at $2900. This Midland son ranks at the very top among non-parent bulls for Milk (+35) and has a pedigree stacked on both sides for maternal strength and carcass genetics. He scanned a 16.1 in2 ribeye muscle at one year of age and ranks in the top 3% for $B (44.27). He sold to Victor Link of Newport, VA.

The top selling horse was Lot 8, VT Rhapsody in Blue "Merlin". This 2002 gray Oldenburg gelding stands 16.1 hands tall and has the pedigree, conformation, and movement to become a world-class performer. In addition, he has an exceptionally calm disposition and wonderful mind. Merlin is a paternal half-sib to VT Rio Grande who held the record as the highest selling horse ($16,000 in 2000) in any Hokie Harvest Sale. John Bartko of Hughesville, MD paid $20,000 (new record) for this well-mannered horse.

The second highest selling horse was a 2002 chestnut Holsteiner gelding named R Malachi VT, sired by R Saluut II. Malachi is an impressive horse with spectacular natural passage and piaffe movements. He sold to Jontelle Forbus of Staunton, VA for $15,000.

The 68 students did a marvelous job of preparing for the sale. They gained 'hands-on' experience in sale management, budgeting, cataloging, advertising, livestock photography, clerking, and health requirements. A special thanks is extended to Mr. Jeff Marsh and Mr. Smith Reasor for serving as auctioneers for the horses and beef cattle, respectively. Students Jared Burner, Luray, VA; Matt Manbeck, Womelsdorf, PA; and Te'Quay Mills, Virginia Beach, VA served as ring people for the beef cattle sale while Patrick Wolak, Richmond, VA worked the ring. Bid-takers for the horse sale were Caitlin Dunham, Midlothian, VA; Ryan Gorbutt, Forest, VA; Anna Ponce, Richmond, VA; and Megan McGuire, Dublin, VA. Students who were clerking 'in the block' were Andrew Smith, Haymarket, VA and Stacey Gibler, Christiansburg, VA for the beef cattle and horses, respectively.

The Food and Beverage Committee, with assistance from the Block and Bridle Club in the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, served a complimentary BBQ dinner to 740 guests (new record). Their support and cooperation are greatly appreciated.

The response from the 292 registered horse and beef cattle buyers (new record) and feedback from the students in the class continue to be overwhelming in favor of hosting another student-managed livestock sale. Plans are currently underway for another Hokie Harvest Sale on Friday, October 28, 2005. We hope to see you there!

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