Monterey County heritage hog sells for $33K

Gonzales student raises animal for Monterey County Fair

MONTEREY — Gonzales High School FFA Chapter President and Monterey Bay Sectional Reporter Samantha Santos, who was selected as the Monterey County Fair’s 2017 Heritage Scholarship winner, auctioned off two hogs Sept. 2 at the fair, one of which — the heritage hog — sold for more than $33,000.

"Spending the summer raising the heritage market animal has been a very humbling experience because knowing that the money I raise from this market animal is coming back directly into helping this fair," Santos said. "Knowing that we are creating the future leaders of the agriculture industry, and that is something that the Heritage Foundation should be proud of."

Santos, a senior at Gonzales High School this year, is going to put the funds from the two swine projects into a bank account for her college fund. She plans to attend the University of California Davis and major in agricultural business with a focus in marketing and a minor in political science.

Monterey County Fair had a record breaking Junior Livestock Auction this year, grossing $506,918 in auction sales of 203 total animals. In 2016, the auction grossed $467,790 and sold 197 animals.

"The heart and soul of the fair is the junior livestock program," said Kelly Violini, Monterey County Fair CEO, in a news release. "Many of the exhibitors rely on their earnings from their projects to pay for their college educations."

The Monterey County Fair ran from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds.