MANHATTAN, Kan. – A standing-room-only crowd filled the Stanley Stout Center on Kansas State University’s campus March 2 for the 41st-annual Legacy Sale, an event that showcases the best of the university’s purebred bull and cow genetics.
The high-energy auction netted nearly $155,000 to support the operating budget of the university’s purebred beef unit, though its value was felt well beyond the dollars and cents.
“They’ve got pretty good standards on their animals, and they’ve got genetics that I like,” said Jerry Hoak of Altamont, Kansas, who said he has bought three bulls in the past for his southeast Kansas ranch. “It’s a nice sale, nice animals and I enjoy coming up to this sale.”
Another rancher, Marshall Wootten of Ottawa, Kansas, wasn’t planning to buy any animals this year, but it was still well worth the trip.
“In the past, I’ve bought a Hereford bull and Simmental bull, and some cows. I’ve had good luck with them,” Wootten said. “We still come each year even if we don’t plan to buy anything … you know, you might change your mind. You might see something that you can’t say ‘no’ to.”
This is the fifth year the Legacy Sale has been conducted in the Stanley Stout Center. The building is located north of the K-State campus adjacent to the new purebred beef unit, which was dedicated at last year’s sale.
“The sale here at K-State is important for a couple reasons,” said Bob Weaber, professor of animal sciences and a livestock specialist with K-State Research and Extension. “One, we’ve got a lot of students involved, and they have put a lot of time and effort into getting us to this point as part of the seedstock marketing class here at K-State. We want to have a good, successful sale just to demonstrate to them that the process works.
“The other reason is that it helps our budget for the purebred unit, which is self-funded predominantly, so this sets the stage for next year’s success and opportunities.”
Senior Callahan Grund, an animal science major from Wallace, Kansas, said the sale is a great hands-on experience for students.
“At a sale like this, you take all the sales-management aspects of the normal bull sale that any family or seedstock operation would do, and we really take it upon ourselves to manage the sale,” he said. “We each take a different role in preparing these bulls and cows for the sale and getting them ready.”
Fellow animal science senior Kodi Van Laeys from Logan, Kansas, said her family sells 100 Angus bulls each winter.
“Coming from a seedstock background where we have our own sales each year, it’s added experience to improve our sales back home,” she said. “I get the chance to see how people do things, and relate with buyers and peers in the class.”
This year, K-State sold 20 bulls at an average price of $3,793.45, and 35 cows at an average of $2,891.46.
“We do a lot of work in making sure that the product we bring to market is a high quality one,” Weaber said. “We do our homework to make sure producers have all the genetic information available, in terms of DNA and production record collection to make a great purchase decision. And, of course, we stand behind those animals that we put up for sale.”
Weaber added that the purebred program has “had a great run here at K-State. We look forward to using our new facilities … to move our genetic selection and opportunities for students and customers going forward.”