Is A Bull Really Worth $800,000?

SAV Elation 7899 became the highest-priced bull ever sold at public auction last week. ( Eric Grant )

COMMENTARY – When an Angus bull sold at auction for a record-breaking $800,000 last week, one might think the owners just won the lottery. Truth is, unlike buying a lottery ticket, the bull – SAV Elation 7899 – represents years of hard work and know-how.

Further, Elation is no show bull, though he looks handsome in the photo. The bull’s worth is in genetics the owners describe as a “rare combination” of low birth weight, high growth and excellent beef quality.

Elation was produced at Schaff Angus Valley, Saint Anthony, N.D. He was purchased by Square B Ranch and Cattle Company of Warsaw, Mo., and Bogle Ranch LLC of Langley, Okla. Schaff Angus Valley retained 20% ownership interest.

Of course, Elation won’t be turned out to pasture with a few cows this summer. He’s far too valuable for that. Elation is destined for a life of luxury at a bull stud where his semen will be collected and sold. His genetics will trickle through America’s cow herds for years.

But, come on! Eight hundred thousand dollars for a bull?

Actually, it makes way more sense than the rare, 70-pound meteorite that sold at Christie’s auction house in New York this week for $237,000.

According to news reports, this particular meteorite is referred to as a Canyon Diablo iron meteorite because it is made of iron and comes from Barringer Crater in Arizona, a famous site where a meteor crashed into the desert nearly 50,000 years ago. So…it’s an old chunk of iron that fell out of the sky.

But, it must have some use, right? Not really. The seller described it as aesthetically impressive enough to be considered natural sculpture.

"Think of it as the quintessential American meteorite," former owner Darryl Pitt told CNBC. "This one was really unusual. Most of them are highly angular, but this one has a gently curved surface that is evocative of a sculpture by Henry Moore."

Wow! This is the guy I want selling my house. He got nearly a quarter-million dollars for a well-traveled, fire-damaged chunk or iron!

Compare the expensive meteorite to a young, virile bull that is going to produce a lot of great steaks. The $800,000 bull sounds like a bargain.

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