HEMPSTEAD, Texas – The Waller County Fair Association keeps track of 26 Junior Livestock and Expo Auction grand- and reserve-champion money-earning records.
There were 18 of them broken this year.
“We have the most awesome supporters and buyers in the state of Texas,” said Susan Shollar, a member of the Waller County Fair Board who oversees the auction each year. “We have some very loyal supporters and buyers through the years, and we also added some new buyers this year that helped.
“Another thing that helped is that our buyers have started combining their efforts, so we got a lot of group purchases.”
That consolidation resulted in an all-time record of $1.352 million in auction sales and an all-time record of $128,000 raised toward scholarships for youth.
“Our kids are very hard-working, and the buyers know that and appreciate that,” Shollar said. “They like to show the kids they appreciate it.”
There was also a caveat involved in the mix this year. The fair board allows anyone to add money to the exhibitors. That could be $1 or any amount above it, and Shollar expects the total money raised to increase to about $1.5 million by the time those extras are added into the total.
“We have a lot of people that wanted to give to the non-auction exhibitors to help them offset their higher feed prices through the year,” she said. “Our supporters are behind the kids 100 percent in Waller County.”
The primary purpose of the fair and rodeo is to showcase youth and agriculture while also providing a future for youngsters in the county. The people in Waller County are doing that year after year, and it’s showing in the final product every October.
The fair board is also continuing its 10-year vision of upgrading all facilities within the Waller County Fairgrounds. The next step is the production of a covered rodeo arena that will feature corporate sky boxes (Diamond Level), a new press box, new working pens, a return alley among other updates.
“We still have some sponsorship opportunities that are available for the capital campaign, but they’re going fast,” said Dustin Standley, who has been part of the fair association for several years. “Anyone that’s interested can call me (281.924.6357) or Clint Sciba (281.615.0299) to be involved in this process and help us continue to improve the facilities at the fairgrounds.”
These are all the next steps involving one of the most progressive expositions in Texas. Shollar has been around it for more than a dozen years, even though she doesn’t have children involved in showing or being part of the auction.
“We’re doing all this for the right reasons,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, but we enjoy the work. We enjoy the comradery, but more than anything, we enjoy seeing the types of people and the types of future leaders that come out of this. The fair board members, the parents and our supporters see the same thing.”