The Wolfpack Roundup livestock auction returned this spring bigger and even more profitable. N.C. State University students studying livestock merchandising in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences held the second annual livestock sale at the Lake Wheeler Road Field Lab Beef Educational Unit on April 12. There the students prepared and presented farm animals, including horses, cattle and sheep, to visiting buyers.
This year’s auction netted more than $20,000 (up more than $5,000 over last year), with proceeds benefitting teaching programs in the CALS Animal Science Department and helping fund operations in the university’s animal units.
The livestock merchandising class, which includes students from both CALS’ four-year animal science curriculum and its two-year Agricultural Institute, gives students the opportunity to learn about and handle livestock and to gain hands-on experience planning for, promoting and conducting a livestock auction. Students also hear from producers and other livestock business professionals during the semester.
“Students are responsible for the sale, preparing the animals, preparing the catalogue and contacting buyers,” said Gary Gregory, course instructor. “The buyers are mainly producers from within the state, but everyone is invited to come participate in the auction and to support the future of the livestock industry.”
Dr. Todd See, head of the CALS Animal Science Department, welcomed buyers to the Saturday morning event, while Lawson Walston, NCSU Equine Unit manager, described various animals, as students led them into a viewing pen before the auction began. Once the bidding began, auctioneer Drew Bray and announcer Colton Childers, both Agricultural Institute students in livestock and poultry management, directed activities from the auction box.
“We’re really proud of these young people and appreciate the farm managers who have worked with the students,” said See.
New to this year’s auction were three fillies up for sale from the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine. They were auctioned along with one registered Angus and four commercial heifers from the Beef Unit; five ewes and one ram from the Small Ruminant Educational Unit; and five yearling geldings from the Equine Educational Unit.
Proceeds support the units from which the animals came, as well as the course program, said Gregory, who added, “Next year, we hope to add a few more species – goats and pigs.”
Meanwhile, in the ring, Walston was telling prospective buyers about the lineage of Gatsby, a bay quarter horse gelding that, he said, promises to be a gentle horse. – Terri Leith