Pilot story and photos

by David Courtland

This year's Curry County Junior Livestock Auction raised several thousand dollars more than in 2002, most of it coming from bids on market hogs.

Forty-nine bidders, most representing local businesses, spent $19,635 on the 33 sheep, cattle and pigs that 4-H members walked through a ring in the Curry County fairgrounds arena.

That amount was almost half again as much as the $13,494 raised last year, although prices per pound averaged less than in the last several years.

The auction's 15 hogs and pigs were responsible for bringing in the largest share, $8,591 or about $2.48 per pound. Lambs raised $4,973, or about $2.65 per pound, for the 16 market sheep.

Tony Thomas's and Shawn Novotne's steers brought in $2,865 total for market cattle at the auction.

Thomas' 1,350 pound grand champion market steer, his second one in two years, claimed $1.07 per pound from Grant's Pancake House of Gold Beach.

Novatne claimed the highest total price for any animal at $1,515, or 1.50 per pound for his 1,010 pound market steer.

Michelle Carrillo of Brookings Livestock Co. 4-H claimed top price per pound with Yao Ming, her reserve champion market sheep, bought for $4.55 per pound by U.S. Borax.

Gift baskets contributed by local businesses raised another $408. Donations and advertising raised $2,798.

Brittany Righetti's market hog Dude, which weighed in at a whopping 280 pounds, was not only top weight pig but also claimed the highest total price for one $686 or $2.45 per pound, bid by Century 21 Realty of Harbor.

andquot;It was fun,andquot; said nine-year-old Brittany, although she admitted parting with her hog was andquot;kind of sad.andquot;

Brittany said she is saving $600 of the money she got from the auction for college, but andquot;I get to spend the rest.andquot;