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But for the ranchers and volunteers, the sale began months earlier.
Planning began the previous December. Supplies were ordered starting in January and yard cleanup began in February. For two months ranchers and friends spent their free time and weekends welding pipes, fixing troughs, installing guardrail, rebuilding pens, cleaning the scales, clearing weeds and painting. Experienced or just learning, old and young, male and female. All worked. All helped. All in preparation for the cattle to arrive.
A week before sale day the cattle began arriving daily, from dawn to dusk, in large loads and small. Chas Erickson, Sale Chairman and Yard Master, and his highly experienced crew from local ranches, 4-H and FFA clubs worked diligently sorting and weighing the cattle, matching color, weight and size to create lot-packages with maximum buyer appeal.
On sale day, people arrived from across the county, state and nation. Some to watch. Some to see old friends. Some to buy.
The office was bustling with activity. Registering the 17 buyers from 6 western states. Making last minute checks and preparations.
Local 4-H groups sold coffee, sodas and breakfast foods. Lunch was provided by the Gila County Cowbelles.
Consignors watched closely as their cattle sold. Buyers checked and settled their purchases. When all was said and done, 2,693 head of premium cattle headed to 7 western states.
All in all, the success of the 2013 Gila County Auction is due to the teamwork of the ranchers and friends who volunteered their time, skills and elbow-grease. From sale yard cleanup to final load-out and everything in between, each person was an integral part of the operation.
© 2013 Gila County Cattle Growers Association
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