Waterford enjoys livestock fair

No rides or games with Covid-19 concerns amuck

Photo by Janelle Patterson Kesselyn Bigley, right, watches as her boyfriend Hunter Siners, takes his reserve grand champion hog on a walk at the Waterford community fairgrounds before it was drug tested.

WATERFORD — The fair looked different Friday for hog exhibitors and families attending the first of Washington County’s three junior fair exhibitions.

“I’m glad we still got to show,” reflected Kesselyn Bigley, 17, of Whipple.

It was Bigley’s first year showing a hog and she came in first in her class and second in senior showmanship.

“That I think reaffirms that when you work hard at home, put in the time with your animal it really comes out and is rewarded,” she said, noting that she’s wanted to show hogs for many years, after also showing other livestock including lambs, goats and steers. “I want to go into the livestock industry as a career and getting to do these shows and meet the people in 4-H, grow up together, they become a part of your family.”

Hunter Siners, 17, also of Whipple, said 4-H, and showing hogs has been such a large part of his life, it was hard to imagine not having the opportunity to compete this summer.

“I’ve competed at state and at jackpot shows and the winter circuit, we’ve even been invited down to Georgia (for national competition),” he said, while waiting for his hog, the reserve grand champion, to be drug tested after shows ended Friday.

Bigley said that though mass attendance, rides and games aren’t a part of the fair scenes this year due to coronavirus, the emphasis on completing the livestock projects brought a form of closure to an unpredictable start of the year.

“I know so many people who don’t even know that the livestock projects are the reason for the fairs, and all the work that goes into taking care of these animals,” she said. “It’s something we love and we work hard to do and learn to be better each year.”

And working with different animal personalities, she said, can even be amusing.

“They have their own quirks and have their schedules,” Bigley described. “They’re very intelligent.”

And while the limits to attendance have exhibitors nervous about the Saturday hog sale this year, coronavirus also allowed former 4-Hers to support the tradition from afar.

“I was watching from work, had asked my boss if I could just have the Facebook Live up on my phone and many times I was just in tears,” said Faith Weyant, 19, of Marietta. “I feel for all of the (students) still in it, I miss 4-H so much, you do when it’s been such a big part of your life for so many years.”

Saturday, 165 hogs are scheduled to be sold in the fair’s bidding wars beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Buyers still have the option to sell back their hog to meat processors, at 26 cents per pound.

New buyers are asked to register in-person as a new buyer and pick up your bid number.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at


At a glance:

About the Waterford Hog Sale:

1. If you attend the sale, there will be a New Buyer’s Registration Table. At this table you will register as a new buyer and pick up your bid number.

2. For 2020 there will not be a buyer’s reception, however, water will be available during the sale.

3. No buyer pass is needed for the Waterford Community Fair. Buyers are asked to limit attendance to one or two from each business.

4. The Waterford Fair Hog Sale will take place at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Waterford Fairgrounds on the pulling track, weather permitting. If it rains, the sale will be inside the barn. The hogs will not be taken to the auction area. Only the member will enter the ring to sell their animal.

5. Buyers are welcome to bring their own chair, however, chairs will be provided.

6. To reduce interaction exhibitors are not encouraged to give buyer gifts or give buyers a photo of them with their animal. Rather, sellers are encouraged to mail a thank you card or deliver their picture to a place of business.

7. All buyers must come prepared to settle their purchases. You must either have a purchase order number or pay for the livestock on site. All accounts not paid in 30 days will be charged a 3-percent per month service charge. All arrangements must be made before leaving the sale.

8. Grand Champion and Reserve Champion Market Hogs must go to slaughter at a local processor (Pine Ridge) as required by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

9. Paying for processing (slaughtering, cutting, and wrapping) of livestock is the buyer’s responsibility. Local processors include Pine Ridge Meat Processing and Hickory Hills Meat Processing.

10. There will be a packer bid if you will re-sell your purchase to the packer. This amount will be deducted from your invoice during checkout.

11. If you are not able to attend the auction but still wish to support the kids, you can complete a Sealed Bid Sheet and return prior to the sale. There are instructions on the form where it should be submitted. See this article online to download the sealed bid sheet or contact the Ohio State University Extension Office. Bid Sheets must be returned to the Waterford Fair Board Office by noon Saturday.

Source: Bruce Zimmer.


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