A lucrative night for livestock sellers



August 1, 2017 - 12:00 AM

A lucrative Monday evening saw Allen County youngsters rake in more than $41,000 in premiums at the annual Allen County Fair 4-H and FFA Livestock Premium Auction.

The event marks the traditional finale for fair activities at Riverside Park.

Swine were the big sellers at Monday’s auction. Thirteen hogs brought in a combined $13,975 in premiums. A premium is any money a buyer pays above market price. As has become custom for local buyers, the premiums frequently were worth more alone than the animals’ base bids.

Carly Dreher’s grand champion crossbred swine, for example, drew a $2,500 premium. That premium was matched only Brody Nemecek’s grand champion steer in the cattle sale.

Fourteen steers or heifers were sold in the cattle sale for a combined $13,550 in premiums.

Sixteen meat goats were sold for a combined $10,725 in premiums. Leading the way was Julianna Sprague’s reserve class champion, which garnered $1,650. Shelby Sprague was right behind with $1,600.

Three sheep received $2,775 in premiums, topped by Natalea Elmenhorst’s class champion crossbred lamb, which garnered $1,325.

The cash kept flowing even after the bidding stopped.

At the conclusion of each segment of the auction, the Allen County 4-H Boosters organization announced it was adding to the pot for several sellers.

For example, each 4-H’er in good standing — they completed all of their necessary club duties and properly  filled out record books — was guaranteed $1,000 for their animal. Thus, if a steer earned $700 in premiums, the Boosters kicked in another $300.

The Boosters set minimum premiums for swine and sheep at $850, and meat goats at $750.

Additionally, Peerless Products, Fort Scott, announced all Prairie Rose 4-H’ers who exhibited goats at the Fair would split a $1,000 donation.

Many of the 4-H and FFA exhibitors use proceeds from the sale for special things or to put in nest eggs for college educations.

Many businesses participate in the livestock auction each year and individuals also are encouraged to do so. Organizers note that participation is the community’s way of showing its appreciation for the youngsters involved and recognizing the efforts they put in to raise and show the animals.