Archive for Saturday, August 4, 2012

Getting their goats: At fair auction, 4-H’ers say goodbye to animals they raised

August 4, 2012

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Holly Vesecky, 11, of Baldwin City, hugs her family’s goat, PUPPYDOG FACE, before the start of the livestock auction Saturday at the Community Building at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Holly had raised the goat since it was a baby, and was saying goodbye before it was auctioned off.

Holly Vesecky, 11, of Baldwin City, hugs her family’s goat, PUPPYDOG FACE, before the start of the livestock auction Saturday at the Community Building at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Holly had raised the goat since it was a baby, and was saying goodbye before it was auctioned off.

From left, Emmitt Johns, of Topeka, Claire Wilson, of Lawrence, and Bryce Wilson, of Lawrence, pet goats before the start of the livestock auction Saturday at the Community Building at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Bryce’s goat, Timmy, was one of many animals auctioned off at the event.

From left, Emmitt Johns, of Topeka, Claire Wilson, of Lawrence, and Bryce Wilson, of Lawrence, pet goats before the start of the livestock auction Saturday at the Community Building at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Bryce’s goat, Timmy, was one of many animals auctioned off at the event.

Holly Vesecky, 11, gave Puppydog Face a final hug. Soon the Douglas County Fair would end. And so would her relationship with the goat she raised since it was a kid.

The 4-H and FFA Livestock Auction helped bring the fair to a close Saturday night. More than 350 people gathered to watch and bid on the 141 pigs, goats, rabbits, chickens, sheep and cattle raised by 4-H members.

“I’m not going to be happy with whoever buys it if they butcher it,” said Holly, who then swatted at a nearby boy after he asked her if she knew what a consignment auction was.

Of course Holly, a sixth-grader in the Vinland Valley 4-H Club, knew exactly what it was.

But the auction has a happier side. It serves almost as a charity event for the 4-H members.

Bidders buy the animals that 4-H’ers raise and show, often paying way over market value. Some sheep assessed at $100 sold for more than $600. The money from the sales goes back to the youths who raised the animals.

“Every year I am amazed at the people who give,” said Bryan Lang, who had two daughters selling animals in the auction. “This county has one of the better auctions in the state.”

Some 4-H’ers save the money, putting it toward college. Others reinvest it.

“More than likely the money’s going to my dad,” Holly said. “We will probably use it to buy better goats.”

4-H’ers weren’t the only ones benefiting from the community’s generosity. Tyler Kapelle, of Lawrence, donated a hog that brought $750 and hundreds of pounds of pork for Just Food, a local food pantry. Santa Fe Trail Meats agreed to process the hog for free.

Comments

Lawrence Morgan 2 years, 8 months ago

Great photographs (John Young) and story (Adam Strunk).

Couldn't we have a lot of pictures of these and other fair events?

bobbie1207 2 years, 8 months ago

I was just thinking that the online coverage seemed to be lacking this year. I live out of state and look forward to the extensive coverage of my hometown fair every year.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 8 months ago

I'm anxiously awaiting word on Chad's pig. Anyone out there know?

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