UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
The UW-River Falls Dairy Club Organizing Committee for the 2020 Falcon Premier Sale with their consigned heifer.
April 8, 2020 --The 2020 University of Wisconsin-River Falls Falcon Premier Sale in March was a great success despite the looming shut down of campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sale on March 14 at UWRF’s Mann Valley Farm featured 50 Holsteins and 10 Jerseys consigned for sale and a number of new initiatives introduced by the UWRF Dairy Club’s 2020 Organizing Committee.
Individuals at the sale could bid in person or on Cowbuyer.com. This was the first Falcon Premier Sale to take advantage of technology through Cowbuyer, which set up a live stream video of the ring to broadcast the sale on their website, allowing online bidding. Ten heifers were sold through Cowbuyer including the two top sellers. Heifers went to buyers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri and Canada.
The average heifer sold for $2,139. The top three sales were:
A committee of 17 Dairy Club members oversaw the sale, led by co-chairs Eric Wachtendonk of Bloomer and Bailey Larson of Alma Center. The committee stepped up this year to take on additional responsibilities and try some new ideas. With the retirement of long-time auctioneer Tom Morris, the committee had to secure another auctioneer and took on the challenge of handling the clerking, the advertising, and creation of the sales catalog themselves. They also added a popular gift basket raffle the day of the sale.
“Co-chairing the 2020 Falcon Premier was an unforgettable experience and a highlight of my college career,” said Larson. “Seeing the hard work of the sale committee all come together for such a successful day was truly amazing. The sale would not have been possible without the generosity and support of our consignors, sponsors, and the countless people that helped us along the way."
Wachtendonk echoed Larson’s comments about the unforgettable nature of the sale.
“We were extremely fortunate to have had such a successful sale,” he said. “The turnout and the support from the industry, under the circumstances, was something our whole committee will not soon forget.”
For the first time, the Dairy Club consigned a heifer of their own in the sale. Last fall, the club helped the family of Squires Farms, Menomonie, prepare their cattle and heifers for dispersal. In exchange for their assistance, the Squire family offered the club a heifer of their own for the Falcon Premier Sale. The $2,400 raised by this consignment will directly support future activities for Dairy Club students. Club members expressed much appreciation for this generous donation from the Squire family.
In yet another first, prior to the sale, the Dairy Club hosted their first showmanship clinic for youth. The clinic was facilitated by UWRF alumna Katie Coyne of Mill Wheel Show Clinics. Coyne donated her time and talent, giving the club the chance to welcome 52 youth to the UWRF Mann Valley Farm and an unforgettable experience with this elite lineup of heifers.
“The sale represents an incredible effort put forth by our students,” said Steve Kelm, professor of dairy science and one of the club’s advisers. “The co-chairs of the sale and their committee took on one challenge after another to reach their goal of a successful sale. I want to send a special thank you to alumni who helped with sale planning and during the sale itself.”
The Falcon Premier Sale is a biannual event hosted by the UWRF Dairy Club. For more information, email Kelm at firstname.lastname@example.org.