Livestock buyers cartel remembers Rick Cinquini

Chico >> Plenty of buyers will be raising their numbered flags at the Junior Livestock Auction at the Silver Dollar Fair today. Yet, one familiar face in the crowd will be missed: Rick Cinquini, who ran the buyer cartel for about 15 years before his death this spring.

The cartel is an important part of the auction, using donated funds to ensure the hard work of children in FFA and 4-H program results in a good price for their animals.

After money is collected from a long list of donors, Cinquini and his wife Pam found seats in the bleachers with a good view, and kept careful track of their buying and spending.

Many youth write letters to people they know in the farm community, asking for their animals to be considered for purchase. Other animals, like the grand champions, also tend to fetch top dollar. The cartel helps increase the number of children who receive a good return for raising animals.

This year, it will be Pam Cinquini and children Whitney and Brett Cinquini up in the bleachers.

“We promised him we would do it,” Whitney Cinquini said. “It will be sad sitting up there and not having my dad up there, but we promised him. He wouldn’t want us to worry about him. He would want us to focus our attention on the kids.”

History of cartel

The idea for the cartel stemmed from a gesture that began in 1993 when the owner of Las Plumas Lumber in Oroville decided to contribute $25,000-$30,000 toward the purchase of animals, explained Ed McLaughlin,…

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