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Livestock auction culminates year of hard work

August 11, 2000

Livestock auction culminates year of hard work



By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer


There were steers, cheers and a few tears Friday at the Ag Expo, as Washington County 4-H members parted with their animals during the Market Animal Sale.

The Expo's crowning event began with applause for the auction's two-legged participants, who crowded into the auction ring.

"Right here in this ring is our future," said volunteer auctioneer Jack Downin.

He shared the microphone with fellow auctioneers Jim Cochran and John Downin to speed-pitch the lengthy line-up of livestock that 4-H'ers raised during the past year.

Dozens of club members showed their animals to about 120 bidders.

Last year's auction raised $95,000, and event organizers hoped to surpass the $100,000 mark Friday night, said Jeff Semler, a University of Maryland Cooperative Extension agent specializing in 4-H in Washington County.

A small percentage of the proceeds covers event costs and funds such special projects as a new college scholarship for senior 4-H and Future Farmers of America members, Semler said.

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But 95 percent of each animals selling price benefits 4-H'ers, many of whom use the money for education and expenses related to agriculture.

Novice club member Erin Canfield, 9, said she would use proceeds from the auction of her swine to buy lambs.

Melissa Frey, 17, of near Funkstown, said she hoped her two goats would net about $400 to help with her fall tuition at West Virginia University.

Unlike some younger club members, the veteran 4-H'er said she wouldn't cry when her animals left the auction block.

"When I started out, I was sad," she said. "When you get older, you get used to it."

Likewise, Shawn Wiles, 11, of Fairplay, didn't anticipate separation anxiety when goats Dusty and Dopey mounted the auction block.

To kids who did, Shawn suggested, "Get a life."

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