By Pixie Sulser
The livestock auction rounds out the Ramona Junior Fair on Saturday, Aug. 6, at the junior fairgrounds on Aqua Lane. Buyer registration begins at 11 a.m. and the auction action heats up at 1 p.m.
Those who would like to bid on a bit of livestock but don’t have the freezer space for a lot of meat don’t need to worry, said Mary Martineau, junior fair administrator.
Many believe that, if they want to participate in the Livestock Auction, they have to purchase a whole animal, but that’s not the case, she said. Potential buyers who would like to purchase only a part of an animal may post their desire on a message board at the fairgrounds.
“This way people only wanting to buy a half a pig or even an eighth of a steer can connect with others who would like to do the same,” said Martineau. “A whole animal can be purchased by several parties, and it helps the buyers and the sellers.”
As a way of showing appreciation for the buyers’ support, registered buyers are invited to the annual Buyers’ Dinner. This year the barbecue dinner will be from 4 to 6 p.m., providing a bit of a break in the middle of the auction.
Auctioneers Matt Gorham, his son Zach Gorham and self-taught auctioneer and former Ramona 4-H’er Levi Gassaway will guide buyers and sellers through the auction process. Potential buyers may simply sit back and enjoy the show as they bid on the animal of their choice. Auction runners (4-H members) will bring the necessary paperwork right to the actual buyer, “so they don’t even have to move,” said Martineau.
The foundation of such groups as 4-H, FFA and Grange is to teach young people leadership skills, a sense of responsibility and the basics of running a small business. The members who raise and sell livestock hope to make a profit from their investments of time and effort.
The young entrepreneurs incur expenses, including the initial cost of the animal, feed expense and various equipment needed for the care and showing of the animal. The time involved varies from 4 months to 11 months, depending on the animal.
Supporters who would like to help out any of the young business people but who are not really interested in buying livestock may purchase an animal at the auction and then donate it to the Scholarship/Maintenance Fund. The animal is then “resold” immediately. Those wishing to donate a purchased animal should notify a ringman or the auctioneer immediately after a successful bidding. The original amount the animal sold for goes to the exhibitor while the resale amount goes to the Scholarship/Maintenance Fund.
Donations may also be made to exhibitors without purchasing an animal by using the “Add-On” program. To “Add-On” a donation, participants must still register as a buyer, but rather than actually bidding on an animal, they may set a price per pound or a flat rate amount to be added to a particular exhibitor/animal/or ear tag number. Any amount of money, large or small, can be donated through the “Add-On” program without purchasing the animal.