EATON — The Junior Fair Market Livestock Sale rounded out what is a long process for 4-H participants. The sale, held on Friday, Aug. 4, began with a record-breaking Sale of Champions, which ended in mixed emotions and many tears.
For some kids it is hard to sell the project they have been working on for a year, while others are used to the process and don’t get as emotional.
Per fair guidelines, all Grand and Reserve Grand Champions must be sold in the market sale. They must be taken to harvest immediately after sale. All livestock must be alive and able to enter the sale ring in order to sell in the Livestock Sale.
As for the broken records, Cole George of Somers Super Beef had the Champion Market Broilers. He broke the standing record of $2,800 by selling his Grand Champion chickens for $3,700. “I’m feeling excited and surprised,” he said. “It’s sad to see one go, but it has to happen.”
Emma Burr of Monroe Better Livestock had the Champion Market Goat. She broke the standing record of $3,700 by selling her Grand Champion for $4,000.
Kole Glander of Monroe Better Livestock had the Champion Market Hog. He broke the standing record of $3,700 by selling his Grand Champion for $4,800. “It felt amazing to get Champion. I wasn’t expecting it at all,” he said. “I’m going to put the money towards my college. For the sale, I just got out there and smiled and hoped for the best. I’ve been doing this for a couple years, so I’m used to selling market animals.”
Even without breaking the standing records, the experience of selling market animals is a mixed bag of emotions. Some of the participants were very emotional to lose the animal they have spent so much time with.
Kara Burton of All Star Livestock had the Champion Market Lamb, which she sold for $2,350. For her, this was an emotional experience. “When you put in a lot of work with these animals, it’s really hard to sell them,” she said. “When you sell them it’s like you’re giving up that hard work, but it’s all worth it in the end. Next year is my last year, so I’m going to do this again with everything I have.”
Haley Davidson, also of All Star Livestock, had the Reserve Champion Market Lamb, which she sold for $1,200. She also found the experience to be emotional. “I’ve gotten really attached to this animal,” she admitted. “When you’re working with the animal you get really attached to it and then you sell it and it just goes away.”
Kinsey Crowe of Twin Valley South FFA got Champion Market Steer, which she sold for $5,500. “I’m feeling very sad,” she said. We did very well in the sale, he brought lots of money. I will probably put it back towards the people who helped me buy him.”
Mackenzie Neal of Somers Super Beef had Reserve Champion Market Steer and was equally as emotional. Her steer sold for $4,850. “It was pretty awesome to win, because I worked hard all summer,” she said. “I felt good about the sale, but I also felt really sad, because I don’t ever want to leave him. I’m feeling good about everything, but I’m still upset.”
Some of the kids were just excited to have won Champion or Reserve Champion with their animal.
Lea Haney of Somers Super Beef got Reserve Champion Market Broilers, which she sold for $2,000. “It’s amazing, I never knew I could do it,” she gushed. “Going into the sale, I didn’t think I would get that much money. I’m going save the money for a car or college.”
Katelyn Meeks of Preble Lambs Unlimited got Champion Market Turkey, which she sold for $1,100. Winning Champion was a goal of hers, so she was excited about the whole process. “I’m feeling pretty good right now. It felt really good to win Champion. That was one of my big goals this year,” she said. “I was hoping to get a little bit of money out of it, but most of all it was great to get the award, because that was my goal to get Grand Champion Turkey.”
Jonathon McLane of Monroe Better Livestock was “jumping up and down” when he got Reserve Champion Market Turkey, which he sold for $850. “I wasn’t sure what was going to happen during the sale,” he said. “I didn’t think I would be here in the first place. I’m really happy with the turn out. I’ll probably save the money for future things. I didn’t really get emotional — turkeys don’t make me emotional.”
Then there are some people who are just used to selling their market animals and accept it as a way of life.
Johnathon Cottingim with Somers Super Livestock & Swine got Grand Champion Market Rabbits, which he sold for $1,775. “It feels good to win,” he said. “I’ve shown rabbits for a few years now and it feels good to finally get on top. Going into the sale today, I was really nervous and really excited. This was my last year in 4-H, so it feels good to go out in a big way. The money I got is going straight to the college fund. After 11 years, I finally got used to selling market animals. It still is a little bit emotional, you spend all summer working with your livestock, and you have to sell it at the end, but you get used to it.”
All the Reserve and Grand Champion winners expressed gratitude to their buyers for their generosity.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH