By Ann Bryant, Staff Writer
FARMINGTON — An annual youth market animal auction takes place this year on Wednesday Sept. 20, at Farmington Fair.
A buyers meet and greet begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday and is followed by the auction at 7 p.m., Sarah Churchill, of the sponsoring fair board, said.
The auction was moved from the Friday night to Wednesday to accommodate the 4-H youth who go to Eastern States with the beef team, she said.
The Youth Market Lamb, Steer, Hog & Poultry Show & Sale takes place in the Sheep-Hog Barn.
The meet and greet offers an opportunity for buyers to come and meet the kids and look over the animals, Churchill said.
“The youth, from ages 6 to 18, can raise any animal that they choose to sell from the options we give them. Those include beef steer, market lamb, market hogs, meet chickens and turkeys or laying hens,” she said.
This year, on the auction block, there are five steers, five hogs, 13 lambs, six sets of three meat chickens and four turkey. The animals are purchased and raised by the kids and all of the proceeds go back to the kids.
Many youth use the money made from the sale of their animals to finish up projects, buy grain for other animals or save money to buy next year’s market animals, Lilly Bagley, a club leader, said.
For most, some savings are also set aside for college and future education.
Postings from individual members can be found on a Facebook public event page called the FCAS Youth Livestock auction. The 4-H members have and will be posting small bios about themselves and the animals that they raised to sell. They have also included their expenses, Churchill said.
“A lot of sweat, time, blood and tears go in to these animals, please feel free to swing in to the Farmington Fairgrounds and support local agricultural youth by purchasing an animal,” Bagley said.
The 4-H members first show off some of their animals during a 4-H Dairy Show held at 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18, in Worthley Arena. Animals will place and champions chosen by a qualified judge, she said.
The fair auction committee, which includes Churchill, Morgan Badeau, Randy Hall, Martin Lane, and Mike Turner, has arranged for trucking of any animals to processors following the auction, Churchill said.
Castonguays in Livermore processes the lambs, hogs and steers and the meat chickens are processed by Greenies in Norridgewock.
Greenies donated the chickens to the kids to raise and has donated his services to process them, she said.
The buyers have to pay for processing of the animals at Castonguays.
If they want their animal processed somewhere else or would like to take them home, they need to make arrangements for that on there own, she said.