Fair Youth Meat Animal Auction set for Friday, July 8th

The 25th annual Marquette County Fair Youth Meat Animal Auction will be held on Friday, July 8th at – 6:30 p.m. in the Show Barn on the Marquette County fairgrounds in Westfield.  On the auction block will be beef, sheep, swine, rabbits, and meat goats.  Youth from several youth organizations across the county will be marketing their animals – 4H, FFA, Jr. Angus, and more.  All involved will be keeping the program’s objectives in mind — (1) To encourage participation in meat animal projects and appropriate record keeping; (2) To teach a greater understanding of meat animal feeding, meat animal marketing, and meat animal science; (3) To develop pride and responsibility within a member’s animal raising project(s); and (4) To recognize members who do quality work in selecting, feeding, and showing their project animals by providing a marketing opportunity. 

Many local businesses and individuals have already received invitations to be a bidder and/or a buyer, but all are encouraged to come and watch and/or participate in this exciting event.  Bidders and buyers will have the option to purchase the animals outright by the pound or head – or – purchase beef, sheep, and swine on a support price basis.  The following are the guidelines for support price purchases:

Exhibitors are responsible for marketing of the animal and will receive a check from the market. The average market price will be determined from the USDA price at the close of market on Friday and will be announced. Buyers will indicate, at the time of purchase, if they intend to buy the animal outright or for a support price.  A 4% commission on the support price will be charged to exhibitors.

The following is a comparison of buying the animal for a support price and buying the animal outright using a steer as an example:

For example, a buyer bids $2.25 per pound on a 1200 lb. beef steer (whose average market price is $1.10 per pound at the day’s market). With an outright purchase, the buyer pays $2700. Minus a 4% commission, the exhibitor would receive a $2592 check. The exhibitor must also be present at the end of the fair to load the animal, there are butcher shops, and trucking already established for the buyer’s convenience. However, if the same steer were purchased on the support price purchase plan, the buyer would pay $1380 ($2.25 - $1.10 = $1.15 and $1.15 x 1200 lbs. = $1380). After the 4% commission on the support price is taken out ($55.20), the exhibitor would receive a check in the amount of $1324.80. The exhibitor is then responsible to send the animal to market and the buyer doesn’t have to worry about marketing the animal.            

The youth in the program first weighed in their beef in December, while sheep, swine and meat goats were identified in April.  In late June, rabbits were registered as well.               

The total gross sales from the 2021 youth meat animal auction were $183,851.75.  Top dollar paid for beef was $6.20 / lb., sheep was $ 12.00 / lb., and swine was $16.25 / lb.  Top dollar paid by the head for rabbit was $800, for poultry was $1,600, and for meat goat was $1,500.

Our Marquette County Youth Auction Exhibitor spotlight this year features Kimberly Hankel. Read on to find out more about Kimberly and her love of showing swine at the Marquette County Fair!

Hello! I am Kimberly Hankel and I have been raising swine to show and auction at the Marquette County Fair for 8 years. I only ever grew up with poultry around my house but when I was really young, I had always had a love for pigs. Every year I would go to the Marquette County Fair and beg my parents to let me get pigs. My parents put me in 4-H 9 years ago and the following year I started raising pigs. Every year, I look forward to fair week as it is by far my favorite week of the year. Showing and auctioning swine has become a great learning experience for me and now I am able to help others learn. The auction is one of my favorite events throughout fair week. The auction gives local businesses a chance to support the kids in their community that are raising livestock. Any support that someone gives is greatly appreciated as it all goes towards a college fund. Each year, I bring 2 pigs to the fair. I show both of them but only auction off one. In 2018, I won Reserve Grand Champion and in 2019 I won Grand Champion for my swine. At this year’s auction, I am looking forward to meeting all of the buyers and thanking them for the support of not only me but the rest of the kids auctioning animals off this year. Not only is the support of the buyers appreciated but so is all of the support from the numerous volunteers, fair board members, and auction committee because they are the reason that the Marquette County Fair is able to happen for all of us in our community. I look forward to seeing you at the auction!

For more information about this event at the Marquette County Fair or other events, please contact the Marquette County Fair at 608-296-5200 or check out the website at www.marquettecountyfairwi.org or email at marquettefairwi@gmail.com.

Kimberly Hankel is getting ready for the Marquette County Fair as she shows off her swine projects. She will present her pig for sale during the Youth Meat Animal Auction on Friday, July 8th beginning at 6:30 p.m. (Photo submitted)