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Second steer’s a charm

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald

Joie Raybourn’s steer, Lucky, took the title of Grand Champion Market Beef on Saturday evening at the 2012 La Plata County Fair. Lucky, who weighs 1,372 pounds, was bought by Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn for $6 a pound. Raybourn, 12, is the daughter of Scott and Dana Raybourn.

By Jordyn Dahl Herald staff writer

She’s done it again.

For the second consecutive year, one of Joie Raybourn’s steers was awarded the title of Grand Champion Market Beef at the 4-H/FFA Junior Livestock Auction.

The 1,372-pound steer, Lucky, sold for $6 a pound Saturday evening to the Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn.

“I thought I had a good chance, but I was still really excited,” Raybourn said.

A lot of hours and hard work were poured into Lucky, Raybourn’s mom, Dana, said. Joie Raybourn spends about 20 hours a week in the barn with the steers.

Her steer, Bandit, sold for $7 a pound last year, but Raybourn says she still got a good price for Lucky, despite the $1 difference.

“It’s pretty good because the economy isn’t too well,” she said.

This was a common sentiment at the auction held at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.

This was the last auction for 18-year-old Dustrie Stock. Her steer, Pepper, sold for $3 a pound.

“Sale prices have been down, so I was pleased with what I got,” she said. “It’s my last year, so that’s the disappointing part.”

Skkye Moreno, 17, raised this year’s grand champion lamb, which sold for $10.75 a pound. The lamb, Brown Sugar, weighed 135 pounds.

The amount may seem high, but Moreno said buying prices have been down at auctions in recent years. One of her lambs, which was about the same size as Brown Sugar, received second place at a previous auction but sold for $11.75 a pound.

The cost of food to feed the lambs has increased, but Moreno said she has been able to break even.

Dana Raybourn also said corn prices are rising, and everyone is getting scared of how expensive feed is becoming. The Raybourns were able to break even after selling Lucky.

Nonetheless, she said Joie will be back next year with another steer.

“It’s just such a great learning experience,” she said.

jdahl@durangoherald.com

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