DALLAS – The 2018 Youth Livestock Auction was all action and excitement as students lined up to showcase their animals to the highest bidders.

It was a big day for Ashton Floyd, 14, of Denver City, Texas. The teen’s steer, Ultra, was crowned Grand Champion Market Steer. Ultra was sold during the Youth Livestock Auction for $150,000, making auction history. Last year’s Grand Champion Market Steer sold for $141,000.

Students from 4-H and FFA programs from across the state were trying to rack up money for college scholarships.

Floyd said raising livestock is a full-time commitment.

“You wake up early in the morning to go feed them, and after school you work on him again,” Floyd explained.

Like many of the other competitors, Floyd said she was going to put the winnings toward her college planning and future.

“I want to be an embryologist and go to Texas Tech,” Floyd said.

For many of the students, raising animals is becoming a way of life. Turner Matkin, 12, of Boerne said he’s been raising goats since second grade.

“It teaches you how to grow up and [to have] responsibilities,” Matkin explained.

Students said the competitions are cool, especially when there is so much at stake. Having family members close by, as a circle of support, also makes them feel special.

“Turner’s learned hard work, perseverance, determination, humility. How to be humble. How to be a showman,” Teri Matkin said. “And how to be a showman when he’s done well, and how to be a showman and a sportsman when he’s done bad.”

The students say the Youth Livestock Show is helping them build bonds in agriculture. Floyd says she’s learned raising a champion comes with its fair share of challenges.

“Don’t give up,” Floyd advised. “You struggle, But it will pay.”