January 29, 2020

Much preparation involved for annual livestock sale

Arenac County 4-H and FFA ready for Thursday


STANDISH — Arenac County 4-H and FFA members will once again be hosting their annual livestock sale during the Arenac County Fair Thursday, Aug. 1.

Kids brought their animals to the fair Monday and auctioneers can place bids Aug. 1, Michigan State University Extension 4-H Program Coordinator Melissa Prohaska said.

“Youth go into their project with the goal of raising a safe food product for consumers,” she said.

Participants work on their projects in advance, although different projects require different amounts of time spent on them, Prohaska said.

“Beef projects must have their steers before the first of December for weigh-in,” she said. “Projects such as poultry and pheasants get their animals as much as 10-12 weeks before fair, but are attending meetings months before that to learn about their project and everything that is needed to raise it properly.”

Prohaska said more than 100 projects will be at the livestock auction this year, including beef, dairy beef, lamb, swine, chicken, turkey, ducks and rabbits.

Funds from the auction go right back to the kids for a variety of things, such as college or investing in the next year’s project.

“Arenac County youth are very fortunate that we have such a supportive community, as most of their livestock projects sell for above market value,” Prohaska said.

There will also be milk available at the auction, thanks to the 4-H dairy club, which will be sold for a donation, Prohaska said.

Kids who are part of the dairy club learn about the dairy industry, and funds raised in the auction will go toward the kids and into the club for supplies and future educational experiences, she said.

Other than the auction, Prohaska said 4-H is involved in several other projects during fair week, including arts and crafts, sewing, showcasing horses and more.

She said 4-H has been involved with the fair since the beginning, more than 100 years ago.

“When 4-H first started, it was a way for farming families to learn from each other and teach youth about agriculture,” she said. “4-H is now so much more. We provide the opportunity for youth to learn the life skills needed to become confident, successful and

community-minded adults.”

Fair board President Kimberly Karpinski agreed that the club is important for kids and is something the community looks forward to every year.

She said kids learn not only through handling their animals but also through budgeting, organizing and more. She said her own son was part of the fair when the pig barn was built, which has paid off in his adulthood.

“He learned building skills and now he’s a carpenter,” Karpinski said. “So I think there’s a lot of skills that the kids learn when they do the service work. They learn those skills that they take into the working world.”

Ten-year-old Kennedy Cohee, a member of the junior fair board and also part of 4-H, said she will be auctioning a pig off this year but had several animals last year.

She said she continues to be part of the fair because it’s enjoyable, especially since it gives kids something fun to do.

“We just want to keep the tradition going,” Cohee said.

Cohee, who will be turning 11 Friday, said she is happy to be part of something she considers special every year

“I would rather have fun here,” she said. “And I do have fun here, and I would rather be here than anywhere else.”

The auction is scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m. at the fairgrounds, and bidders should be sure to get a bid number at least one hour before the event starts.

For more information, visit the Arenac County Fair on Facebook.


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