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Sioux Empire Farm Show attracts livestock exhibitors

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Exhibitors from around the country showed and sold some of the highest quality livestock at the 2017 Sioux Empire Farm Show at the W.H. Lyons Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls, S.D. More than 30,000 visitors attended the event that ran from January 25 to 28. The Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has coordinated the farm show for 64 years, which features livestock shows and sales of market and purebred beef cattle, hogs, sheep, goats and rabbits.

The quality of the livestock at the Sioux Empire Farm Show rivals shows such as the Denver Stock Show and the Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City, S.D. Cindy Christensen is agribusiness director for the Chamber and has managed the Sioux Empire Farm Show for the last 16 years. "The quality of the livestock is very similar to what you would find across the nation," she said. "It's a strong regional show, but there are a lot of national, outside the region, livestock that come here too."

Exhibitors like Sage Voegele of Lennox, S.D., successfully competed in the Denver Stock Show and also placed high with her pigs in Sioux Falls. She says while the Denver Stock Show is bigger in terms of numbers, the competition at the Sioux Empire Farm Show was every bit as tough.

The Supreme Row is a long-standing tradition, supported by Sioux Falls businesses who understand the impact agriculture has on the community. "That's a $12,000 purse that is split between the two, supreme champion heifer and supreme champion bull," Christensen said. The Supreme Row purse pays $3,500 to the consignors and $2,500 to the buyers. "So it's a nice incentive for the farmers and ranchers to bring their best animal to show and sell at our sale," she added.

The sponsors included the Tri-State Neighbor, Wells Fargo Bank and Campbell Supply Company. The livestock are then sold as part of the Mayor's Round-up and Sale of Champions, which recognizes the best market livestock shown at the Sioux Empire Farm Show by rewarding producers with premiums from the business community. The top five market lambs, top 10 market swine, top five market beef and top five market goats are sold at the auction.

The various market and purebred livestock sales also generate thousands of dollars, illustrating the strong genetics and the large role of livestock production in the state. "With agriculture being the leading economic driver in our state livestock is important," Christensen said. The good news is the sale averages continued to be strong, even with livestock prices below 2016. "Unfortunately the markets have been down a bit, but we hope that they uptick here soon," she said.

The Angus bull sale averaged $3,160 with the top bull sold by Bruhn Angus of Manning, Iowa, for $6,000. The Charolais bulls averaged $4,165 with the top bull sold by McGunegill Charolais of Jasper, Minn., for $6,000. The Hereford bull sale averaged $3,172, with the top Hereford bull consigned by Larry Crane of Mitchell, S.D. Bruner Limousine of Winfred, S.D., sold the top Limousine bull for $4,600 and the show averaged $3,259. Pladsen Red Angus of Harpers Ferry, Iowa, sold the top Red Angus bull at $7,000, with the bull sale averaging $2,968. And in the Simmental sale the top bull brought $8,000 and was consigned by J.T. Weber Family Cattle Company of Lake Benton, Minn. The Simmental bull sale average was $3,843.

The Sioux Falls Farm Show also runs concurrently at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. That show is run by Midwest Shows of Austin, Minn., and celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. This year's event featured more than 600 commercial exhibits, a record for the show.