Belton Journal
This year’s Bell County Youth Fair wrapped up with the Premium Auction on Saturday morning, featuring more than 200 exhibitors.
The fair saw a total of 4,833 entries and 1,009 exhibitors from all over Bell County, with divisions for horses, cattle, goats, sheep, swine, poultry & rabbits, and categories for food, clothing, art, photography, crafts, woodworking and leather crafts under the Family and Consumer Sciences Department. There were also welding and construction projects featured in the Ag Mechanics division. Students also competed in livestock, rabbit, and horse judging, as well as ag product ID and Vet Science contests, according to coordinator Cheri O’Braden.
Last year’s auction brought in more than $775,000 for the youth of Bell County. The total amount raised this year was not available as of press time.
For Belton students, however, more than $43,000 was earned during this year’s auction. There were 26 Belton FFA students who made the auction this year, out of 72 students who entered a project.
This year was the first year making auction for Lake Belton High School sophomore Riata Schoepf, who showed pigs and goats and made the sale with her 2nd place Market Swine.
“It’s very exciting, to be honest. It’s a very good thing to do in the first year, like I’ve been told not many people do, but it’s very exciting, and it’s awesome,” Schoepf said.
This was the ninth year participating for Lake Belton High School junior Kenzie Goldman, who showed pigs in seven entries and made sale with her 1st place Market Swine. Next year will be Goldman’s senior year, and she said she is proud of the work she has put in throughout her FFA career, especially when making the auction.
“It means a lot because all my hard work pays off in the end, and I just like doing what I’m doing, and it’s just exciting,” Goldman said.
Victoria Canales, an eighth grader at North Belton Middle School, entered her market lambs and a market goat in the show and made auction with her 4th place market goat.
Canales said that a lot of work and a lot of hours goes into raising these animals, especially when it comes to getting them ready for the show and making sure they are braced properly in order to be judged.
Laney Smoczyk, a freshman at Lake Belton High School, made the sale with her market goat.
“This is my third year with goats and my first year with pigs,” Smoczyk said. “It feels good because knowing that I can make auction with them, and then the money I get from auction goes to my next year’s goats and animals.”
Emma Canales, a junior at Lake Belton High School, made the auction as well, with her Market Swine. This is her eighth year participating in the Youth Fair, she said. She was excited to see her animal make it to the auction.
“It’s really, really exciting because it’s really nice to see all my hard work and dedication, late night in the barn, early mornings, and hard work, time and money spent paying off,” Emma said.
The list of students who made it to auction is below:
Shelby Larson – Grand Champion Candy
Keeley Ham – Champion Market Lamb
Carter Hitt – Reserve Champion Market Swine
Kenzie Goldman – 1st place Market Swine
Tara Stone – 1st place Market Swine
Rylan Norwood – 1st place Market Swine
Laken Easton – 2nd place Market Swine
Avery Jones – 2nd place Market Swine
Makayla Coats – 2nd place Market Swine
Riata Schoepf – 2nd place Market Swine
Leah Cox – 3rd place Market Swine
Anna Cate Cox – 3rd place Market Swine
Sarah Bell Cox – 3rd place Market Swine
Emma Canales – 3rd place Market Swine
Lexi Lisenbe – 3rd place Market Lamb
Laney Smoczyk – 3rd place Market Goat
Kadence Sigler – 4th place Market Lamb
Victoria Canales – 4th place Market Goat
Audrey Hitt – 4th place Market Swine
Landon Grigsby – 5th place Market Goat
D’Onna Lytle – 5th place Market Lamb
Ava Canales – 5th place Market Swine
Joel Knox – 6th pace Market Goat
Bailee Baker – 7th place Market Steer
Laynee Clary – 7th place Market Goat
Mallory Larson – 20th place Meat Pen Fryer Rabbits