FARMINGTON, Mo. – The Farmington Show-Me-Select replacement heifer sale is the newest of six fall sales statewide. Consignors are building reputations with their fourth sale, Dec. 8.

The 120 bred heifers averaged $1,790, with a sale top of $2,450. Other long-standing sales topped that.

“We had excellent quality. There were not enough bidders to reflect that,” said Kendra Graham, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist.

“The sale started strong, but as trailers filled we saw a dip in prices,” she said.

The seven consignors are enrolled in the MU heifer development program. Herd owners who join learn both genetics and heifer management.

The consignors were Ben and Julie Davis, Farmington; Deer Creek Cattle Co., Clarksville; Graham Family Farm, Farmington; Grellner Farms, Owensville; Kenny and Sharon Kollmeyer, Farmington; Turner Farms, Belgrade; and Dean and Dallas Wilson, Dittmer.

“It’s the repeat buyers that make a sale grow,” said Dave Patterson, MU beef reproduction specialist. “When they see what they get, they come back for more. And they bid more.”

Top-price lots from Turner Farms of Belgrade were unique. Jon and Mary Turner are longtime participants, selling in other sales.

Their top lot of one head brought $2,450. It was Tier II, meaning it was out of a proven sire, bred to proven sires. In addition, the Turner herd has been genomic tested to provide DNA data. This later quality is called Show-Me Plus.

“We continue to see new buyers who have not purchased Show-Me-Select before,” Graham said.

Many heifers are pregnancy checked by ultrasound. That can also determine the sex of the unborn calves. Buyers can know if they will get bull or heifer calves.

Two volume buyers took a big share of the offerings. Harold Fox of Ellington bought 27 head. Rick Graham of Patterson took home 23 head. Fox was a first-time buyer. Graham had bought before.

Kendra Graham says drought in the eastern Ozarks is a concern. “There’s apprehension about buying animals to feed this winter,” she said. “Some have fed hay since October. Ponds and springs are drying up.”

All heifers in Show-Me-Select sales have been bred to bulls with strict calving-ease or birth weight EPDs (expected progeny differences), Graham said. They have met standards of soundness and pelvic size, which helps assure live births.

Herd owners want to improve on quality beef can join through their MU Extension center.

Catalogs and sale summaries can be seen at