Just days after we celebrate one of the most important events of our country, the Fourth of July, is also one of the most important events for many of our youth who live on farms.
The Trumbull County Fair's livestock sale runs all day July 7 at the animal sale barn in the middle of all of the animal barns on the western end of the fairgrounds.
The sale begins at 10 a.m. and finishes at approximately 4 p.m., with the following order of animals - rabbits, chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, carcass goats, market goats, dairy market goats, carcass lambs, market lambs, dairy feeders, dairy finished beef, carcass steers, market steers, beef feeders, carcass hogs and market hogs. Grand and Reserve animal champions are sold at the beginning of their species.
I didn't understand how the animal auction worked until I tagged along last year with Jan Solomon, a fair board member and a 30-year Junior Fair adviser. A goal is to attract more nonfarmers, businesses and organizations to bid on these animals.
It's simple as you sit inside the sale barn and make a bid on any animal that you are interested in. It is one of the most important ways a young person in farming makes money.
The winning bidders benefit by buying a fresh food source at a great price per pound and get some great advertising exposure for their businesses and organizations.
The winning bidders don't even have to worry about taking any animals with them, since lists of butchering companies and processors are available. When you sign up for your bid number, you list which processor you want to use for any animal you win. There are truckers available at no fee to transport the animals from the fairgrounds to the processor.
You would only pay for the auction amount, and then when you pick up your meat, pork, lamb or goats, you pay the processor a butchering charge.
When you purchase a chicken, turkey, duck or goose, the 4-H member at no additional cost to you will process and deliver your product frozen to you.
At the fair, the Trumbull County Farm Bureau financially assists many of the 4-H Junior Fair members by participating in the animal auctions each year.
"The kids do a great job at raising their animals to be ready for the auction held each Saturday of fair week. It's also very important that they can raise as much money from the auction sale as possible in order to assist with the 4-Her's own future," stated Rich Houk, who is a fair board member.
Houk assists Paul Aaron, another Fair Board member and the chairman of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau's 4-H Junior Fair Committee. Paul bids and Rich tracks the dollars spent for the local Farm Bureau, with the goal to help as many farm bureau member families as possible.
For the animals that might not get a final bid price high enough that the young entrepreneur needs or if there are a lack of bidders, the Trumbull County Farm Bureau has stepped up to help our youth.
So take it from a city slicker who didn't understand how easy it is to buy some great food and just how important it is to come out to the fair and take part in the most important event of our Junior Fair youth.
Mike Wilson is the executive director of the Trumbull Soil and Water Conservation District and is an associate member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau.