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Record pay out

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 10:23am

Fort Worth 2-12-13 (Fort Worth Business Press) -- His name is Stock, he lives in Hereford, and he raises cattle. It almost doesn't get better than that.

And then it does.

On Friday, 12-year-old Stock Martin's 7-month-old, 1,329-pound black European crossbred, named Lunchbox, was crowned grand champion steer of the 117th Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.

At the annual Junior Sale of Champion steers, lambs, barrows and Wether goats, held in the West Arena at the Stock Show on Sat., Feb. 9, Lunchbox sold for $205,000. The winning bidder was Jill Davis and the Happy Davis Foundation.

At the 2012 Sale of Champions, Ross Perot Jr. bought Martin's reserve champion steer Woodpecker for $155,000, and his steer Beast was grand champion at the State Fair of Texas last year, selling for $104,000. The sixth-grader is a member of the Oldham County 4-H, and has shown animals since age 5, when he won grand champion miniature Hereford steer at a Colorado stock show.

Stock's sister, Saige, won a European crossbred class with her steer on Friday, her 10th birthday. That steer was also in the Sale of Champions. Parents, Sherri and Brian Martin, run about 300 head of cattle in Hereford.

Coors Distributing ofFort Worthbought the reserve champion steer, a 1,307-pound European crossbred named Blackie, shown by Flint Newman, 17, of Stanton. The youth exhibitor had the grand champion at the San Antonioshow last year.

The grand champion goat went for $55,000 to Shale Exploration. Ladies on the Lamb bought the grand champion lamb for $35,000. Hillwood bought the reserve champion lamb for $30,000.

A newly formed group, the Fort Worth Business Women, bought a Breed Champion Angus raised by Taylor Schertz from Denton for $45,000. Becky Renfro Borbolla, executive with Renfro Foods, founded the group in January to support the female exhibitors in steer sales.

"We took up six rows in the arena, and it was so exciting because we actually bought the first steer that came out that a young lady raised," said Borbolla. "For our first year, we've definitely came out of the chutes running. We only expected to have $30,000 and over the last few days, we got it to $45,000. We're all so thrilled."

The 2013 Sale of Champions hit an all-time record of more than 300 animals and $3.1 million in sales.

"Our sponsors come to reward the finest Texas youth has to offer," said Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate executive board member Eddie Arguijo. "Our membership continues to make inroads and look for new sponsors around our area and state."

The Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate was formed in 1980 by a small group of businessmen led by Don Weeks and Frank Neve. The group's purpose was to fairly compensate the young exhibitors in 4-H and FFA clubs for their hard work and dedication in raising and showing their livestock. Over the past 33 years, the syndicate members, along with the support of local businesses and giving individuals, have raised some $35 million for the purchase of their animals.

"Every penny raised goes to the young men and women exhibitors of theFort Worthshow," Arguijo said. "Not every show in the state can make that claim and that's one reason we feel that Fort Worth is the best livestock show in the state if not the country."

The group has continued to grow contributions at an astounding rate each year. In 1983 James M. "Jim Bob"Norman, took on leadership of the Syndicate. He preached his vision of providing these young agricultural leaders funding for secondary education. Jim Bob's term was cut short when he was diagnosed and ultimately died with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. His vision, however, lived on. Frank Neve assumed the Chairmanship and held the first fundraiser to establish the James M. Norman Scholarship Fund. The Syndicate raised $76,000 that night in 1985 at an airplane hanger at Meacham Field. The fund was established to provide scholarships to FFA and 4-H participants who were pursuing an agricultural or life sciences degree at aTexas college.

In 1992, under the leadership of Terry Dallas, the Syndicate broke the $500,000 mark at the Sale of Champions by purchasing 204 steers.

In 1997, Gary Ray led the Syndicate to the sale and walked out with 259 animals at a price tag over $1 million.

Another milestone was reached in 2003, when Bob Merrill wrote a check to the Fort Worth Stock Show for $1.5 million in exchange for 270 of the finest cattle, sheep, goats and pigs in the world.

In 2004, the Syndicate celebrated its 25th year of fundraising and raised more money than ever—a total of $1.75 million for the Sale of Champions and another $130,000 for the James M. Norman Scholarship Fund.

In 2006, sale day proceeds exceeded $2 million, and in 2012, the sale set a new record of $2.9 million.

Today, the Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate boasts a membership of 140 businessmen, including past chairmen, who volunteer their time and energy to realize the vision that was established more than three decades ago. They have over 400 sponsors and have provided more than $648,000 in scholarships for 4-H and FFA members.

The syndicate's goal is to continue to raise their scholarship presence, Arguijo said.

"What a great way to end Larry Anfin's two-year term as chairman, with more than $3 million in sales," he said. "We look forward to Scott Prince leading the Stock Show Syndicate for the next two years."

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