This year’s Strawberry Grower of the Year, David E. Reyes, captured both the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion title, making him the seventh grower to win Sweepstakes in the festival’s history. His berries were judged prior to the Poteet Strawberry Festival Auction. His crate of winning Albion berries sold for $14,800 on April 11.
The primary bids were $6,000 from Silver Eagle Distributing- Bud Light, $3,000 from H-E-B and $1,000 from Alamo Attractions.
Other contributing bids were $500 from Jenschke Enterprises, $500 from Ella S.A. Contractor, $500 from Poteet Lions Club, $500 from Pure Party Ice and $500 from Tuttle Mo- tor Co., $300 from American Electric Power, $300 from County Judge Bob Hurley, $300 from Brown’s OK Corral, $300 from Hurley Funeral Home, $300 from Plestex Theatres, $250 from Ramos Tire and Auto Service, $250 from Security State Bank, $200 from Poteet VFW Post #6970 and $100 from Pleasanton Express.
Reyes’ captured Reserve Grand Champion with his strawberries of the Chandler variety. They sold for $5,550. Primary bids were $2,450 from Silver Eagle Distributing- Bud Light and $1,000 from H-E-B. Other contributing bids were $400 from Alamo Attractions, $300 from Poteet
Country Winery/Texas Teas, $300 from Tuttle Motor Co., $250 from Chris Jenschke Enterprises, $250 from Poteet Lions Club, $200 from Auto Recovery, $200 from Poteet VFW Post #6970 and $200 from Pure Party Ice.
Along with Albion and Chandler, Reyes also grew berries of the Seascape varieties this year.
“I couldn’t have done it without my family,” said Reyes. “It may be my name on there, but it takes my whole family.”
He especially thanked his cousin Joel Garcia, his uncle Albert Reyes and his father, David Reyes.
The Poteet Rotary Club presented plaques to David E. Reyes and Linda Wheeler, for growing this year’s biggest berry. Also recognized were the families of Tomas Ambriz and Jerry Morgan Kosub.
Head Judge Weldon Riggs was assisted by two students from Palo alto college. While judging was underway, auctioneer Tommy Crouch kept the crowd entertained.
Riggs said that this year’s entries were very uniformed in flavor. He acknowledged that this year the weather was not on their side, as the crops needed more sun.
“However,” added Riggs, “farmers don’t complain.”
He later said, “We appreciate the growers,” said Riggs. “They do a great job and their product is A1. They use few if any chemicals.”
This year’s total in auction sales was $51,350, an increase of last year’s total, which was $50,100. Last year’s Grand Champion berries sold for $14,000 and last year’s Reserve Grand Champion berries sold for $5,350.