by Carol Dunn
Local 4-H members will be looking for the community’s support during the livestock sale on Sunday, August 9 at 2 pm at the 4-H barn in La Veta. The sale will be an opportunity for local businesses and individuals to encourage the local 4-H students and support the agricultural community. The livestock fair is the culmination of over a year’s worth of work for these students, who are sometimes finishing up one project while starting another. A student is permitted to sell up to two animals during the Huerfano County 4-H livestock sale, and there are ambitious students who complete two or more 4-H projects in a year.
If you have not previously attended the livestock sale, you’ll see a specific process for each type of animal sold. First, there is an initial bidding contest for the base value of the meat, referred to as the “floorplan.” The student will receive a premium price for their animal when someone bids above the floorplan price.
If the successful bidder wants to keep the animal, they pay their bid plus the floorplan. If a bidder does not want to keep the animal, they pay the difference between the floorplan price and their bid, essentially a windfall to the student who raised the animal. The high bidder on the floorplan then gets to buy the animal. In the case of smaller animals, like rabbits, turkeys and chickens, the successful bidder sometimes gives the animal back to the student who raised it.
It takes self-discipline and extra effort to commit to a 4-H livestock project and see it through to completion. Animal projects include : beef, dairy, goat, poultry/turkey, rabbit, sheep, swine, horse and dog. The student is responsible for the entire process of raising the animal, including daily handling to teach it how to behave in the show ring. Take some time on Sunday to be at the sale to encourage the students. Even if you don’t buy, you can applaud.