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MSU livestock sale sets new records
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Each fall for the past 21 years, Mississippi State University students have managed a sale of top-quality livestock from herds of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. The latest sale was a record-breaking event.
"There were a record 600 people on hand for the November sale," said animal science professor Mike Boyd, whose students conducted the sale.
Another record set at the 2003 sale was the amount paid for a horse. A bay colt born in April 2003 brought $3,000, the most ever paid for an animal at a MAFES Production Sale.
Animal scientist Peter Ryan, who conducts equine reproduction research, said the outstanding bloodlines of the colts offered at the sale generated a lot of interest.
"We had a good batch of weanlings this year out of high performing mares and top-quality stallions," he said. "The students also did an excellent job of preparing the colts for the sale, including making sure all were halter broken."
The 17 colts in the 2003 sale brought an average of $925, up from $530 the previous year. Two mares and three hackney ponies also were included in the sale.
The improved cattle market generated higher prices for the bulls and heifers offered at the MAFES sale. Angus were the most popular bulls at the 2003 sale, bringing an average of $1,753, up more than $40 from the 2002 average.
The average for bred heifers was $879, up about $90 from the previous year.
Students are responsible for most aspects of the production sale except the auctioning, which for the 2003 sale was handled by auctioneer Jarvene Shackelford.
Proceeds from the annual sale go back into MSU's livestock research programs.