Ag scholarships get nice boost

August 20, 2002

Efforts to provide agricultural-based scholarships in Washington County received nice boosts earlier this month during the annual

4-H Market Animal Livestock Sale at Ag Expo.

The sale of a gallon of milk to benefit the county dairy scholarship fund drew $2,000. The amount was the total collected from more than three dozen families, farms, ag businesses and others.

Even volunteer auctioneer Jim Cochran got into the collective spirit of giving. When the bidding reached $1,800, Extension agent Jeff Semler, who was assisting Cochran, announced that Cochran and electrician Denny Reeder were pitching in to bring the total to $2,000.

The sale of a lamb, purchased by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce and donated back, helped to boost the 4-H Market Sale Committee's annual scholarship fund. Beckley Farms, of Hopewell Road, bought the lamb for $585, which goes to the fund.


In addition, Semler said, Reid Insurance Inc. bought a hog at the sale and donated it back to be sold again to benefit the market sale scholarship fund.

To those proceeds, the sale committee could decide in its upcoming meeting to add a percentage of the total received in the entire livestock sale, Semler said. Last year, the committee allocated 2 percent of the proceeds to the scholarship fund.

Overall, this year's sale drew a total of $119,240 - $14,240 more than a year ago.

It was "absolutely" a terrific response to the scholarship effort and to the effort to recognize 4-H youth for their work in raising the animals to market standards, Semler said.

"Overall, across the board, the prices were up, from the grand champions on down," Semler said. "It was just a great sale from top to bottom.

"I think it's partly the great community support we have. I'd like to think it's at least partly because these kids get out and do a little legwork," he said. "I've talked to several buyers, and they say, 'As long as this kid comes to see me, I'll keep buying.'"

Contacting potential bidders before the sale is part of the 4-H training to market products.

Market sale officials said part of the overall sales' success is the continued participation by volunteer auctioneers Cochran, Denny Stouffer, Jack Downin and Floyd Davis, and their assistants.

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