Chickens and turkeys were a new addition this year at the Aug. 18 Youth Livestock Auction at the Grant County Fair.
“This was the first year that we had this, and it was a huge success,” said 4-H leader Deanna Maley. “The kids worked hard and provided a great product.”
She said these projects are ideal for kids living in town and don’t require a big investment of money.
The investment of time and care for the animals, on the other hand, is significant.
Each year, businesses and individuals open their hearts and wallets in support of the 4-H and FFA youths who raise steer, swine, sheep, goats and, this year, poultry for auction.
Shannon Springer is a member of the volunteer auction committee, an incorporated nonprofit that operates the auction.
She said, each year, she’s amazed at the generosity of the bidders and other donors.
“It’s phenomenal we had over $220,204 auctioned this year — just from the auction,” she said. “We had an additional $26,596 in add-on donations.”
Add-ons come from people who may not want to buy an animal but would like to donate to a particular youth, or, for example, all the Dayville kids or all the sheep kids, she said.
“Always, any kid that takes an animal to the fair, they have to put in a lot of hard work,” she said.
The prices paid for animals are inflated, she added. For example, Reid Dole’s three grand champion chickens were auctioned off for $310.
“It’s a way to support the kids for their hard work,” Springer said.
The add-on checks are especially appreciated by the kids whose animals didn’t make weight or had other problems.
“Sometimes they put in all the hard work, but they learn a lot of good lessons, and sometimes hard lessons,” she said.