As 9-year-old Braden Duckert watched the cow parade around the sale ring, he couldn’t decide what was bigger — the heifer or the price tag.

“Five thousand dollars is so much money,” Duckert said. “But that cow is huge.”

The heifer, named Season, was one of nearly 1,500 head of livestock exhibited during the Muskogee Regional Junior Livestock Show, which culminated in Saturday night’s Premium Auction. 

Students from FFA and 4-H chapters auctioned sheep, cattle, goats, and pigs to the highest bidders amid a cheerful, excited atmosphere. Cows mooed, pigs oinked, goats and sheep bleated and people laughed and cheered as the auctioneer rapidly fired off offers. 

Season, who also happened to be the Grand Champion Heifer from Friday’s heifer show, earned Fort Gibson seventh-grader Parker Lockhart $5,000. 

“It’s exhilarating,” Lockhart said. “We had one last year that went for 42, and so to beat that was very surprising. It shows that hard work pays off.”

It was definitely hard work, too, Lockhart said. Raising the cow kept him busy daily.

“We’ve had her for about a year now,” he said. “It’s been every day all day on feeding her, washing her, breaking her. It’s definitely a project.”

Emma Jo Holland, a junior at Fort Gibson High School, raised the Steer Grand Champion and earned $4,000 for her steer Karl. The name has a meaning to it, she said.

“My dad’s best friend’s name is Karl, and he reminds me of my dad’s best friend,” Holland said. 

Her dad and mom were what brought Holland into raising animals, she said.

“My dad showed cattle and my mom showed horses when they were younger,” Holland said.

Holland echoed Lockhart’s sentiment about the stresses of raising cows.

“It’s a lot of hard work and it really tried my patience at times,” Holland said.

Still, Holland was excited about the fact that her hard work paid off — so excited, in fact, that she said she planned to put the $4,000 into another steer. That’s what Lockhart plans to do, too, he said.

“I’m going to put it into getting another one like her,” he said. “Not sure if we’ll get one just like her, but we’re going to try.”

As for Braden Duckert, he said one day he wants to raise a cow that looks like Season.

“She’s going to be even bigger, I bet,” Braden said. “You just watch.”

Heifer Show results

Breed Champions

Angus — Ethan Shoemake, Porum FFA

Chianina — Kaitlynn Withers, Wagoner 4-H

Hereford — Chancee Clark, Sequoyah County 4-H

Limousin — Kaytie Cash, Porum FFA

Maine — Parker Lockhart, Fort Gibson 4-H (Supreme)

Red Angus — Marcela Wilmouth, Checotah 4-H

Santa Gertrudis — Mackenzie Hicks, Wilson FFA

Shorthorn — Kade Fowler, Checotah 4-H

Simmental — Isaiah Sallee, Porum 4-H

AOB — Mylie Campbell, Checotah 4-H

AOB/Brahman Inf  — Alison Salyer, Morris 4-H

Commercial Heifers — Chance Clark, Sequoyah County 4-H

Reserve Breed Champion

Angus — Briana Gawf, Eufaula FFA

Chianina— Haley Cato, Webbers Falls FFA

Hereford — Jaden Elam, Fort Gibson FFA

Limousin — Addison Criner, Porter 4-H

Maine — Carlee Clark, Sequoyah County 4-H (Reserve Supreme)

Red Angus — Hayden Duvall, Midway FFA

Santa Gertrudis — Mackenzie Hicks, Wilson FFA

Shorthorn — Adam Erickson, Haskell FFA

Simmental — Reid Groves, Beggs 4-H

AOB — Holli Perry, Fort Gibson 4-H

AOB/Brahman Inf — Trinity Hobbs, Cherokee County 4-H

Commercial Heifers — Isaiah Sallee, Porum 4-H

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