Strawberry grower Selso Garcia of S & G Farm captured the 2021 Grand Champion title at the Poteet Strawberry Festival Auction held on Saturday, April 10. The winning strawberries were of the Chandler variety and, to date, have brought in a total of $7,800.
The premium Grand Champ buyer was H-E-B with a bid of $4,000. Other contributions so far are: Glazer’s Beer & Beverages- DosXX’s- $500, Glazer’s Beer & Beverages- Miller Lite- $500, Poteet Lions Club- $500, Hurley Funeral Home- $300, AEP Texas- $200, Jeanne Israel- $200, Mark Sparks Family- $200, Poteet Country Strawberry Ice Cream- $200, Poteet VFW- $200, Pure Party Ice- $200, Southern Smiles- Dr. Jeff Jacobs, DDS- $200, Tuttle Motor Co.- $200, M6 Cattle Co.- $100, Medina Electric- $100, South Texas Auto Repair- $100 and Dan Turley- $100.
Five Cousins’ Strawberry Patch (Hannah Chandler, Hallie Bates, Tess Chandler,
Jacob Bates and Caleb Bates), won the Reserve Grand Champion title at this year’s auction with their Albion berries. To date, the berries have brought in $5,250.
The premium Reserve Grand Champ buyer was Jupe Environmental which bid $2,500. The other contributions so far include: H-E-B- $500, Hurley
Funeral Home- $300, Glazer’s Beer & Beverages- Lone Star- $250, Glazer’s Beer & Beverages- Miller Lite- $250, Latka Cattle Co.- $250, Poteet Lions Club- $250, Rockin DK Ranch- $250, Poteet VFW- $200, Southern Smiles- Dr. Jeff Jacobs, DDS- $200, AEP Texas- $150, Glazer’s Beer & Beverages- Lone Star- $250, Tuttle Motor Co.- $200, M6 Cattle Co.- $100, Pure Party Ice- $100 and South Texas Auto Repair- $100.
This year’s judging kicked off with a berry sift event on April 3, which narrowed down the entries chosen to return for the final judging. Judge Weldon Riggs announced that 106 flats of strawberries were judged at the sift.
“We look at the presentation, not only last week but this week as well. We look at the way the growers pack their berries,” said Riggs. “We look for uniformity, the size and color of the berries.”
The judges also sample the berries by taking a pint out of the flat and turning it upside down to look and check for uniformity. They taste at least three berries from every flat. Riggs asked all the growers at the auction to raise their hands, as it was an especially difficult year to raise strawberries with the freeze and snow.
“They came on strong and did a good job with it. Farming is tough,” Riggs said.
Live auction total
This year’s live auction total was $46,200. This is an increase from the 2020 auction total of $38,105, when the auction was held online only, due to coronavirus concerns. Also in 2020, the total bid for the Grand Champion winner (Dusty Britches) was $3,700 while the total bid for the Reserve Grand Champion (Leonard Sanchez Jr.) was $2,250.
In comparison to prepandemic times, the 2019 auction total was $63,350 with a total bid of $16,300 for the Grand Champion winner (Lisa Sanchez of 4G Reyes Farms) and $7,100 for Reserve Grand Champion (Jose and Lorena
Dominguez of Strawberryville).
How you can bid
This year’s strawberry sale and auction is a hybrid of the in-person auction that was held April 10 and contributions that can be made by email. This includes bids for the Grand Champion, Reserve Grand Champion and firstfifth place winners of each variety.
If you would like to contribute to any of the winners, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The contribution commitments received by Friday, April 16 at 6 p.m. will be compiled and published in the Pleasanton Express and Poteet Strawberry Festival website.
Your support helps in many ways, explained Poteet Rotary Club secretary/ treasurer Ron Mixon in a letter to potential buyers. Poteet Strawberry Growers are directly rewarded for their hard work and will receive 75% of your contribution. The remaining 25% goes towards scholarships for deserving Poteet High School students.