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Madison DeCatur waits to show her steer

4-H Annual Livestock Auction Highlight of County Fair

August 10, 2013       1 Comments
By: Stephen Kent

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You don't often think of a livestock auction in the middle of town. But that's where the fair grounds are and that's where the auction is held. The annual event showcases 4-H students from around the area as they present turkeys, chickens, rabbits, pigs, and cows for the crowd. The event starts around 6:00 and runs until past 10:00!

Judy Wrzesinski from the MSU Extension service organizes this event. She was next the the auctioneer all night and followed up each animal with thanks to the bidder. Prices seemed a bit high, like $375 for one chicken, but the bids are more to support the kids, who work every day, year round to raise their animals. 10% of the sale goes to 4-H to support the program, the rest goes to the 4-H student. "We have farmers, companies, supporters, individuals and even parents bidding", said Judy. The auction winner can keep the animal or donate it back to the student.

Besides the livestock auction, there were many other birds and animals in the long barn. This was open to the public so they could wander through and admire the many "critters".

A second barn is devoted to horses. These animals are not auctioned. Rather they participate in shows and contests each day during the fair. The horse barn is operated year round for public boarding of horses.

Auctioneers Rick Schmidt, Mike Erskine, and Dick Bayne took turns calling or working the pen watching for bids. Dick is 83 years old and has been doing the fair for over 20 years. "I don't do much anymore, but as long as they call me I'll do this one", he said. All three of the men do this job as a donation to 4-H. And they do a great job.

For years now, Chemical Bank has provided the staff to handle bid recording and payments. The volunteers track and record the bids multiple times to insure that they are recorded correctly. Other bank volunteers handle the payments and collections.

OK, Lets start with the food. The 4-H auction is something of a "family affair" and it seems
most folks know each other. They provided the food and didn't charge a dime!
4-H families do know how to make some good food.
Some kids walked their turkeys, others carried theirs.
But when a turkey can weight FIFTY POUNDS, walking may be best.
We couldn't figure it out. Is he looking for supper?
Sometimes it takes two to make a steer really shine.
Thressa Irish washed down her horse Budd. "He's a good jumper,
probably because he's tall", she said. "The writing is because we did a fun show today
and decorated our horses", she went on. The Garber High student has owned Budd for
three years and has been doing the fair for at least 8 years.
Long view down the horse barn.
Meline Smith with "Jackie", her 9lb, 6oz Flemish Giant
Is the duck hungry or just anxious.
He just kept nibbling on that shirt.
15 year old Best friends Rachael Naugle and Kennedy Bedell
raise their rabbits, ducks and pigs near each other in Linwood.
Rachael is from the "Country Cousins Critters and Kids" club,
Kennedy is from "Feathers and Fur".
Megan Beson and her 14.3 pound rabbit, which brought $300!
Megan is from the "Hicktown Heroes" club
Tristen Julian, from the "Kaleidoscope" club is about to lose that rabbit.
Makayla Trepanier from the "Kaleidoscope" club likes those bids.
Something about those pigs; every one of them
came out on the run and charged around the pen.
Jacob Bohinger from the "Bits and Pieces" club got %514 for this one.
Auctioneer Mike Erskine started selling chickens...
and there were FOUR PAGES of chickens on the list!
Logan Rechsteiner from "Country Cousins Critters and Kids" shows his chicken,
which brought $225.
Hunter DeCatur from "Country Cousins Critters and Kids"
and his 1300 pound Grand Champion steer, which brought $2,860.
Justin Naugle's 1,245 pound "Reserve Champion" steer got $2,614.
Justin is also from "Country Cousins Critters and Kids"
It's not just the big boys who wrangle steers.
Jennifer Monciviaz needed a little help handling her cow,
but she earned $2,540 for that 1,270 pound animal!
Chemical Bank volunteers handle the recording and collecting of the money.
MSU does the organization and management.
Dick, Rick, and Mike handle the auction itself.
Entrance to the barn.
Young farmers wait their turn to show.
The barn is open to the public to view the animals.
The auction started at 6:00 and went past 10:00.
It was a long night but nobody seemed to leave early.

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dlaurencerogers Says:       On August 16, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Great pix Steve. Dolores and I went through the barns and saw the animals. A great aspect of the Fair.
Agree? or Disagree?

Stephen Kent

Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.

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