Each year 4-H Youth showcase their hard work during the Lewis and Clark County 4-H Auction held during the Last Chance Stampede and Fair in Helena. For the 4-Her's, walking through the show ring and preparing for the livestock sale signals the end of the 4-H year.
As 4-H members' make their way with their livestock to the sale ring so much is going on. The commotion of 4-H dads splitting apart quarreling swine in the lead up alley. The smell of fresh saw dust on the ground. The murmur of the audience sitting in bleachers ready to place their bids. Above all the noises and smells of the sale ring, the ever present rhythmic chant of the auctioneer is most prominent.
For the last five decades Tex Pate has been the man on the auction block at the Lewis and Clark County 4-H Sale. At the age of 75, with now 50 years of 4-H livestock sales in the books, Tex will plug in his microphone for one last sale 4-H Auction.
When asked about his dad, Tex's son Dan said, “He's pure country. Through and through. He breaks horses and works cattle.” He also added that his character is unmatched. “He has good traditional values. In this business honesty is all you have.”
Those values have been passed down to his family that will continue to run Pate Auction, Inc. They also have been also passed down to the generations upon generations of 4-H youth that, with the help of Tex, have able to market their livestock in the auction ring.
[EasyDNNGallery|4446|Width|300|Height|200|position|left|resizecrop|False|lightbox|False|title|False|description|True|redirection|False|LinkText||]Auctioneer's can't do it all alone. Clerking for all those auctions has been Tex's wife, Yvonne. She has run the business side of Pate Auction, Inc. At the start of Tex's 50 year run at the 4-H auction there was not enough space for Yvonne to clerk next to her husband. So she sat in the sale ring at a table and would sometimes have to make a jump for the fence if a pig made it's way under her table! She didn't remain clerking in the auction ring for too long though.
Like many, Tex first got the itch to be an auctioneer by listening to the records of the one and only Leroy VanDyke and his Auctioneer Song.
It's amazing to think of the impact that Tex and the Pate family has had on the 4-H youth in Lewis and Clark County. That's why the Helena community, past and present 4-Her's, agricultural leaders, and the Pate family recognized Tex for his commitment to the 4-H youth during his last 4-H sale.
[EasyDNNGallery|4445|Width|350|Height|350|position|left|resizecrop|False|lightbox|False|title|False|description|True|redirection|False|LinkText||]Sale day is Saturday July 30th at the Lewis and Clark Fairgrounds at 11:00 AM. All were invited to gather at 10:30 AM before the sale where, the 4-H Community from every decade that Tex sold livestock presented a plaque of appreciation to Tex Pate.
The Pate family were all be on hand for Tex's last 4-H sale. Dan Pate mentioned, “I don't think dad will fully retire, I'm sure you will see him being a ring man and calling out bids down the road.”
50 years of selfless commitment to the 4-H youth of Lewis and Clark County is an impressive accomplishment. Tex Pate is a true auctioneer, through and through.
© Northern Ag Network 2016