The Junior Market Poultry Auction at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo took place Saturday, March 9. This competitive auction ruffled some feathers, giving students the chance to expand on their talents and get rewarded for their dedication and hard work.

2024 Junior Market Poultry Winners with Auction Sales:

  • Market Broiler
    • Grand – Kate Behnke, Fayette County 4-H, $295,000
    • Reserve – Michael Jochen, Needville FFA, $115,000
  • Market Turkey
    • Grand – Kathryn Johnson, Alpha Omega Academy FFA, $125,000
    • Reserve – Kayla Ehler, Rockdale FFA, $100,000

Nine-year-old rookie Kate Behnke’s Grand Champion broilers sold to Mach Industrial – Kathleen & Tom Mach, Christine & Michael McWilliams, Andrea Bryant, Higginbotham Insurance – Mark Lee & Dudley Ray & Partners for $295,000. The first time HLSR exhibitor plans to show lambs in the future and hopes to get some fun out of the experience.

“It’s all about the kids. We always worry about our future, but all we have to do is look at these young [kids], I might add rookie, and we know our future is in good hands,” said Tom Mach, speaking on why they continue to come back and donate to these young students.

With his Reserve Grand Champion broilers, Michael Jochen, a fifth grader who hopes to show steers in the future, made a $115,000 sale with his birds. Donors Kristina and Paul Somerville are adamant on supporting the youth of Texas getting their education, being supporters of the HLSR auction for years.

Seventh grader and gymnast Kathryn Johnson won Grand Champion with her turkey, Her Majesty, and took home a $125,000 prize from Lauren & Darrell Palmer, Holly & John Knudsen IV, Dr. Hanna Lindskog & Jonathan Rhoads, and Joshua Harrison.

“Is there a better place to be on a Saturday morning? Raising money to send kids like this to school?” said a donor. “It’s a great cause. Everyone in this room knows it, so thank you for your support.”

Kayla Ehler, Reserve Grand Champion Turkey exhibitor, entered with her turkey, Timothy. Ehler left the Houston Livestock Show with her family, who rushed down to Houston to support her, and with a $100,000 donation from Bridgette & John Grimes, Aimee & JP Monteverde, Robert & Bobby Shockley, and Ginger Brown & Romeo Saenz.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo continues to support young Texans’ educational and agricultural goals, and the 2024 Poultry Auction did just that. Donors and exhibitors have the ability to change America by supporting and participating in agricultural organizations across the state. Donors said these children are the future of agriculture.

2024 Poultry Champions and Winnings

  • Market Broiler
    • Grand – Kate Behnke
      • Mach Industrial – Kathleen & Tom Mach
      • Christine & Michael McWilliams
      • Andrea Bryant
      • Higginbotham Insurance – Mark Lee & Dudley Ray & Partners
    • Reserve – Michael Jochen
      • Kristina & Paul Somerville
    • Market Turkey
      • Grand – Kathryn Johnson
        • Lauren & Darrell Palmer
        • Holly & John Knudsen IV
        • Joshua Harrison
        • Hanna Lindskog & Jonathan Rhoads
      • Reserve – Kayla Ehler
        • Bridgette & John Grimes
        • Aimee & JP Monteverde
        • Robert & Bobby Shockley
        • Ginger Brown & Romeo Saenz

About the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo promotes agriculture by hosting an annual, family-friendly experience that educates and entertains the public, supports Texas youth, showcases Western heritage, and provides year-round educational support within the community. Since its beginning in 1932, the Rodeo has committed more than $600 million to the youth of Texas and education. The 2024 Rodeo is scheduled for Feb. 27 – March 17. The 2024 World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, presented by Cotton Holdings, is scheduled for Feb. 22 – 24. For more information, visit and follow @RODEOHOUSTON online via Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram and YouTube for all the latest news.