County Fair – Animal Auction

Addalie Harper and goat

Addalie Harper and goat (photo Dian Fish)

I attended my first animal auction Saturday morning at the fair. FFA and 4H kids bring out the animals they’ve raised for market. This year some animals didn’t make the minimum weight to be auctioned for sale, but this was offset by the new breeds added to the list. In addition to steer, hogs and lamb, bidders competed for rabbits and goats.

Watching the kids was the second-best part. The younger kids tended to be shy, while older kids had gained more confidence, and all of them had ear-to-ear smiles when their animals sold. Most kids apply their earnings to college funds or educational trips.

The best part was participating in Kitsap community. There was a fourth-generation farmer down there in the ring. Central Market, Farmer George, Farmland Pets, and Les Schwab bought a number of animals, Black Jack Valley Farm bought at least one, and many farmers added donations to the kids funds, including Dian Fish’s family and Pheasant Fields Farm.

Nikki Johansen had encouraged me to come to the auction for a couple of years now, so I sat next to her, and she was nice enough to split a goat with me. Fortunately I’d gotten to see the rabbits, steer and lamb before the goats came up, so I’d gotten the hang of how it worked. It was exciting to actually enter into the bidding process – without Nikki next to me and Dian poking me from behind I probably wouldn’t have been brave enough, but it was great fun. Nikki and I successfully bid on Addalie Harper’s goat.

Then we found to our dismay that we had gone and bought a champion, so we had to have our picture taken. Nikki brought her grandaughter with her. Dian picked up my camera and took the picture along with the official one. I think Addalie is the star of the picture!

Most of these animals are sold to be eaten. How it works is, the animal is taken away, slaughtered and butchered (USDA), then the purchasers go and pick up the meat. I’ll keep y’all updated on the process.

During the auction we were treated to BBQ hot dogs and hamburger. I only eat meat from animals raised by people I know, and happily, these were all people I know! I’m so appreciative of all their hard work. It’s going to be so much fun to see all these kids grow up. They’re already successful Kitsap farmers!

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