July 7, 2011

Youth Livestock Sellers Seeking a 'Fair' Price

by Hannah Kiddoo

The fair is a great opportunity for fun and entertainment, but for youth participating in livestock projects, it also teaches lessons in responsibility, ethics and animal husbandry.

Livestock competitions ask participants to raise farm animals to meet set standards for judging. This takes patience and commitment from each youth member.

Taylar and Tasha Eggleston-Wood have been showing animals for five years and auctioning them off for three. This year they will have cattle, pigs, sheep, dogs, and rabbits on display and are planning on selling their sheep.

For the Eggleston-Wood's, motivation to raise the animals for sale comes from tradition and the opportunity to connect with the community. "My mom always showed animals when she was young so I decided to follow her footsteps," said Taylar Eggleston-Wood. "And it helps you meet people," she added.

After the livestock is judged, youth are allowed to put up two animals for sale during a community auction. For buyers, it is a chance to reward 4-H and FFA members for their dedication to the competition.

Barb Blomme of Scotland County Livestock Auction, one of several auction volunteers at the fair, explained the auction process and noted that bidders have choices when buying the animals.

"Jerry [Blomme] floors the animals so businesses will know the floor price," she stated.

After an animal is purchased, the buyer has the choice of sending it to the sale barn for resale or taking it to a locker. Buyers who wish to send the animal on to the sale barn pay the part of the sale total that exceeds the floor price. Those sending them to the locker become owners of the stock and will pay the full price.

To support the livestock program, buyers can also choose to share the cost of an animal with others.

This year's auction will commence at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 9 in the fairgrounds cattle show barn. Art Hall items, goats, and miscellaneous animals will start the sale with swine, beef, and sheep and wool being auctioned off after. Champions will be sold first, followed by reserve champions, first place rate-of-gain, second place rate-of-gain, and finally supreme market animal.

Purchasing an animal from a youth member does more than put money in their pockets. It also gives them confidence and pride, and the motivation to continue being active in the fair.

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