They went once.
They went twice.
And then they were sold.
More than 140 animals were purchased and paid for during the Douglas County Fair’s livestock auction Saturday night at the fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St. For the 4-H’ers who raised and trained the farm friends, it was a bittersweet moment.
“It’s kind of hard, I guess,” said Baldwin City fifth-grader Cy Hockey.
The story was the same for the majority of the kids finishing out the fair. One livestock owner knew that it was just business, a yearly cycle destined to repeat itself. Eudora resident Jay Hinnant waited in the fair’s community building to sell his cows. After decades going through the paces, he said the process didn’t get any easier.
“It gets to be long,” Hinnant said. “It gets to be stressful. It’s a big game, and it never ends.”
That game takes a fair amount of money, as each animal sold for hundreds to thousands of dollars. A variety of animals including rabbits, goats, pigs and cows all took the stage before being sold. Peach Madl, representing the Sandbar, 17 E. Eighth St., said the auction was less about the animals and more about the kids.
“It’s just people in our community, somebody that catches your eye,” she said. “If we know the kid, we want to support them and their college.”
Madl said the auction, one of the fair’s final events, was often a social outing too, with the same community members participating each year. While the process can be fun, she said it also gets competitive, with bidding wars a common occurrence.
“We’ve also bid against ourselves,” Madl said. “It’s very entertaining.”
And as the auctioneer rambled along into the night, the curtain slowly closed on another county fair.