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Livestock buyers turn out to support 4-H youth

Ashlyn McKenzie of Marietta quiets her market chicken before auctioning it off Tuesday at the Washington County Fair. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

The 2020 livestock sale at the Washington County Fair was much different from last year, but it didn’t stop buyers from supporting 4-H youth.

In the past, there was a buyer’s dinner and exhibitors presented gifts to those who bought their animals. This year, exhibitors were asked to not give gifts and there was no dinner, only bottled water and snacks.

Last year, friends and family packed bleachers, while government officials and business owners sat in easy view of the auctioneer. That wasn’t the case this year, as there were no bleachers and chairs were grouped in pairs with space in between for social distancing.

The only thing that didn’t change was the enthusiasm and dedication of the exhibitors. They calmed their animals while waiting their turn in the ring. Some animals were calm, but others were more difficult to maintain. For instance, Morgan Beaver’s market goat reared onto its hind legs multiple times before it was led into the ring.

During the auction, 71 market goats, 55 market chickens, 51 market lambs, 16 market turkeys, 34 dairy feeder steers, 30 market rabbits and 30 market steers were sold to the highest bidder.

Gabriella Grabow, of Lowell, ushers her market turkey around the ring during the Washington County Fair sale Tuesday night. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

Washington County Fair Board President Kurt Bohlen said the sale went OK.

“Prices are about the same (as usual),” he said.

There were a wide range of prices. Market goats started at $225 and went as high as Braelyn Osborne’s 95 pound goat, which sold to H2O’s Farm of Walkerton, Ind., for $2,750. The grand champion market goat, shown by Jayce Kenney, sold for $1,000. This was his first time as grand champion.

Market chickens ranged in price from $200 to $1,225, with the grand champion, shown by Rebecca Williams. It was a new record and was bought by Ohio Rep. Jay Edwards, R-Nelsonville, and Mark Porter, frequent auction buyer and owner of several car dealerships in the Pomeroy area.

The grand champion market lamb, shown by Alyssa White, sold for $1,600. It was the new record for a premier exhibitor. Two other lambs went for $2,500 and $3,500.

Braden Morgenstern’s 119 pound lamb first sold for $1,000, but the animal was donated back to the sale, and sold again for $1,500. The original $1,000 donation will be given to fight childhood cancer.

Dr. John Henry purchased Brady Barth’s 134 pound lamb for $3,500.

Market turkeys started in price at $175, with Daryan Enochs’ grand champion turkey being purchased by Porter for the highest bid for a turkey at $1,325.

Morgan McCoy, chair of the cattle barn, said everything was pretty much average this year.

“The numbers were down a little bit, but we expected that,” she said, adding some numbers were up, while others were down.

“Market steers were double and there were a little more turkeys, but the number of lambs and goats were a little down,” McCoy said.

She noted the fair has been more family friendly this year.

“It’s been kinda nice and kinda peaceful,” she said.

The final fair this summer will be the Barlow Fair, scheduled for Sept. 24-27. Shown will be market ducks, market dairy goats, market feeder calf heifers and market feeder calf steers.

For a full round-up of the auction, see Thursday’s edition.

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