The BCJLS to me is a vital cog in the entire agriculture program of the area. The exhibitors look forward to and it is the first in a series of shows kind of a "show season" if you will. But our timing creates its own difficulties, being early we have a non terminal show and auction and that has its' own pros and cons. Good that the kids get to keep the projects for major shows but we know that terminal auctions generate more money. We are always trying to get businesses involved and try to see our cause as important but the competition is tough.
A little history of our auction as it was told to me. The BCJLS was started in 1963 as a show with no auction. about 10 years later the groups from Marshall High school FFA (Northside ISD) wanted to start an auction so the kids could get money for their projects for school and continuing to other shows. The board of directors at the time rejected the idea so the NISD had its' own show and auction that became the Walter Gerlach Show which became very successful but limited to NISD exhibitors. They built their own barns and have been there since and attract buyers (many of the the same names you see at BCJLS) having auction of 1M + in recent years.
So with their own facilities and just one school they had the flexibility to get the dates when they needed them and many other things that make it a success for their kids.
BCJLS directors then decided to have an auction for ALL the kids of Bexar County and it was a terminal auction (the buyers actually bought the animal) I have seen older records ...in the 80's I believe we had the GC steer go for over $8000 which at that time for a county show was very nice. Now we just get to $3500 or so. I believe in 2001 we began the "ribbon" show. keeping the animal. Somewhere in the 2000's our show fell where the auction would be Jan 1st. that just did not work so we needed the auction barn for the next sat. SALE had something else planned so we moved the auction to Cowboys Dance hall (donated) and had it there for 3 years. I think that is when we had to stop even having the kids go in with the animals and started just holding a picture. Ever since then we have had the auction a week later. It has its' own drawbacks.
The BCJLS constraints are mostly due to location which limits the time choices we have to a point. We used to have a horse show (which will return in our own arena at 7701 FM 1346 ) but had to abandon it when the arena we used was removed. We pay around $ 15000-$20000 for using the SALE grounds now. Every year this board is analyzing and trying to figure ways to make the best show for the kids. We want more kids involved in ag and we try to keep a good relationship with the schools to get more involvement and ideas.
Our auction needs new money. Our kids deserve a decent amount of funding to go to other shows, to help with school expenses and just help pay the feed bill. Many of our kids go to SALE shows but with all the Bexar County kids that go to SALE only about 10 or so get into those auctions. So why do these buyers say they are helping local kids when that number is so low there and they either do not come to our auction or spend much less at ours than they do at the major show or even at the one school district show? We have an identity crisis..... there are some buyers that do not know that we are separate from other shows, they may not know why ag is so important to everyone. We must find a way to explain.
We are on the verge of a new building and arena on our 45 acres. the property is used now for our annual bbq cookoff, others use it for other events. We will get sponsors to help get us to where we can grow this into the county fair atmosphere it should be. I am excited about the future. Hope you can be also.