Weld County teen’s donation steals the show at Junior Livestock Sale
August 12, 2013
Longtime 4-H supporter Jim Jones put on a straight face at the Weld County Fair's Junior Livestock Sale when he discussed his ongoing battle with cancer, referring to a positive visit he had recently at the doctor's office.
"We'll beat this thing," the Greeley, Colo., resident said confidently, sitting in the crowd at the July 29 event.
But his emotions got the best of him at one point during the evening — as was the case for nearly everyone in attendance — when 15-year-old Alyssa DePorter of Eaton, Colo., made the announcement before selling her reserve grand champion lamb that every dollar the animal brought in would be donated to Jones' family to help with his medical expenses.
The lamb sold for $8,500 — blowing away last year's sale of the Weld County Fair reserve champion lamb, which went for $3,100.
After posing for a photo, Jones and DePorter embraced for a hug, both crying.
"Now that's what 4-H is all about," the auctioneer said into the microphone, referring to DePorter's actions.
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Jones said he had no idea DePorter was planning to make the announcement and donation.
"Just speechless," said a tearful Jones, whose family has been showing livestock for five generations.
Jones and his wife, Bonnie, are well-known in Weld County 4-H circles — running the local Fit 2 Show business that sells livestock show supplies, in addition to their other contributions to local 4-H.
"He's just helped kids for so long," DePorter said of Jones. "I wanted to do a favor for him."
For DePorter, the donation wrapped up a whirlwind of a fair.
In addition to earning reserve grand champion honors in the Market Sheep Show, she also took grand champion honors in that contest this year with another lamb, which sold for $9,000 at that night's sale.
With her win in the Market Sheep Show, DePorter has now won all four of the major market livestock shows at the Weld County Fair — considered by many to be the most competitive county fair in the state.
Fair officials say she might be the first person in fair history to accomplish the feat.
DePorter wasn't the only local youth who went home a winner from this year's Junior Livestock Sale, which brought to a close the 95th Weld County Fair.
Toward the end of the sale, the dull roar of commotion in the Event Center at Island Grove Regional Park was drowned out by the skillful chant of John Korrey, as the world champion livestock auctioneer took to the block to sell his final section of market beef animals.
Bo Naibauer, a 14-year-old of Eaton, and his 1,301-pound steer, "Cat Daddy," garnered the Grand Champion Market Beef title this year, and thus earned the right to sell first in the beef section at the auction.
As always, the grand champion market beef animal had high expectations at the sale, and Naibauer did not disappoint.
Cat Daddy sold for $10,000 — almost seven times its market value.
Naibauer stated that the moment was more sweet than bitter, and that it "just felt good."
He looks forward to using some of that money to purchase his first pickup, ideally a Ford Raptor. Naibauer also chose to donate 10 percent of the sale price to help the Jim Jones family.
Matt Geib, owner of Melvin Geib Inc. of Pierce, Colo., was the buyer of the night's biggest purchase. Geib has been investing in Weld County's youth for 27 years as a buyer at the Junior Livestock Sale. He remarked that watching the kids is his favorite part.
As Naibauer expressed his gratitude and delivered a gift basket, Geib said, "They are what it is all about." ❖