By Jayson Jacoby
Jayne Kellar had to do a double-take as she watched the dollar figures appear on her computer screen during Saturday's 4-H/FFA livestock auction that culminated the Baker County Fair.
The $200,000 threshold was reached.
When the last bid had been taken, the 137 animals had brought in a fair-record $214,708.
And that's not even the final total.
Kellar, who works for the Oregon State University Extension Service and is treasurer of the livestock sales committee, is still tallying add-ons that will boost the auction total.
"We were really surprised," Kellar said on Tuesday. "I was expecting something similar to last year."
The 2011 auction, with only one less animal on the block, brought in an unprecedented $183,000.
That record lasted all of one year.
"I certainly didn't expect to even get to $200,000," Kellar said.
She said her prediction, which turned out to be pessimistic, was based on a couple of factors.
First, the economy remains relatively sluggish.
Second, local residents and businesses have already shown their generosity this summer with contributions to the Bingham family and to several other fundraisers.
"We're very blessed to live in a community that's so willing to give to the kids," Kellar said.
This year's auction included:
andbull; 54 hogs
andbull; 37 steers
andbull; 32 lambs
andbull; 13 goats
andbull; 1 rabbit lot (3 individual rabbits)
The list doesn't include Joel Rohner's steer that was auctioned multiple times during the East-West Shrine All-Star Football game on Aug. 4, Kellar said.