4-H Program sold 165 animals in the 4-H Market Animal Sale

Special to the OBSERVER

The hustle and bustle of animals and people filled the Warren K. Brown Show Arena Friday as volunteer auctioneers, ring assistants, and other volunteers helped make the 2014 Chautauqua County 4-H Market Animal Sale a huge success. Seventy-one hogs, nine goats, 30 steers, 41 sheep and 14 pairs of chickens paraded through the sale ring.

4-H youth have been working diligently to provide high quality animals by raising and caring for their livestock. 4-H Market Animals receive only the highest quality feed, care and conditioning. Friday’s sale attendance was estimated at 500 bidders. Volunteer auctioneers, Vic Richardson, Ron Reed, Lon Kent, Andy Campbell, Mike Peterson, Dick Shaver, Dale Eckman and Kris Hirsh, kept the crowd engaged and entertained as over $189,000 in prime livestock was auctioned.

Welcoming everyone to the auction was Emily Reynolds, the Chautauqua County 4-H issue leader. Reynolds introduced Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension Laurie Livingston. Guests of honor were recognized for their special contributions: Kent Knappenbergrer, who is a long time 4-H volunteer, and began teaching music in Westfield in 1989. This last January, he was awarded the First Annual Music Educator Award by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation, from more than 30,000 nominations. Many 4-H families in Chautauqua County excitedly watched the Grammys as he received the award and cheered in congratulating him.

Then representatives of the Hugh Oag family – Mrs. Sadie Oag, Linda Lanphere, Jeannie Oag and Mick Lanphere were present as Reynolds read a letter from Linda Darling Powell. Powell expressed her appreciation for the dedicated service that Mr. Oag showed her and the mentor he was to so many, and then presented Randy Sweeney of the Chautauqua County Community Foundation, a check for $5,000 for the 4-H Endowment Fund.

The 50th Anniversary Committee, led by Irene Lesch hosted a pre-action reception that was attended by many past buyers. Lesch shared some of the history of the 4-H Market Animal Sale, including the fact that the first sale consisted of 16 “baby beef.” It wasn’t until 1968 that sheep were added, hogs were auctioned off in the mid 1970s and then goats. Chickens were just recently added in 2012. Two people joining the celebration were part of the very first beef committee – Jim Gould, the 4-H agent at that time, and Pete James, who was the secretary for 25 years.

To recognize buyers who were present at the sale, each were asked to stand if they had been buying animals for various increments of years. Chautauqua Patron’s Insurance has been buying animals for 49 years and continued its support at this year’s auction. As a token of appreciation, each buyer will receive a buyers’ photo in a beautifully engraved picture frame, commemorating this special anniversary. Committee members Shelley Ellis Harrington, Kelly Osborne, Barb Hoyt and Laurie Becker were thanked for their work on this special event. And then Lesch called for the bidding to begin!

Due to this past year’s efforts, 4-H members and families continued to build good character, teach invaluable life skills and be a source for strength and development for hundreds of youth involved in Chautauqua County 4-H.

Hogs began the auction with grand champion hog, raised by Michael Kibbe that sold for $5.50 per pound to Chautauqua Patron’s. The highest selling hog was Emily Winton’s for $22 per pound to Wall Street Dairy of Mayville and Hattaway Property, LLC of Sinclairville, which split the cost of the hog. The average hog for the day sold for $4.02 per pound.

Madeleine Lancaster’s grand champion goat was purchased by HLW Acres for $7 per pound, and was also the top selling goat of the day. Friday’s goats sold for an average of $4.13 per pound.

In only their third year, the poultry meat birds were included in this market sale. Sold in lots of two Cornish Rocks, the champion meat birds raised by Katelynn Gierlinger sold for $525 to Frank and Candy Gierlinger. Highest pair of meat birds were Jesse Kwilos’ that went to West Wind Club Cabs for $850. The average for each lot was $281.

The grand champion lamb raised by Wyett Harrington sold for $4.75 per pound to Harmony Chiropractic. The highest selling lambs of the day belonged to Jordyn Majka and sold for $5.50 per pound. Lambs averaged $3.07 per pound.

The steer finished the sale as the grand champion steer raised by Michael Kibbe, was purchased by HLW Acres for $7 per pound. Branden Decker’s reserve champion steer went for $4.50 per pound to Decker Oil and H&R Block of Lakewood, Silver Creek and Dunkirk. The average steer sold for $2.64 per pound.

A special thank you to all the 4-H supporters who purchased an animal at this year’s 50th anniversary 4-H Market Animal Sale. Thank you to everyone who place bids and a special thank you to those who donated back or purchased multiple animals. Let the next 50 years of the Market Animal Sale be just as fun and rewarding as the last.