In fact, many of the bidders Friday night said they had no intention of keeping the animals they bought.
Chuck Wade, commercial account manager for Hagerstown Ford, said his company spends $2,000 to $3,000 every year on animals at the Ag Expo, none of which are kept by the company.
"This gives us an opportunity to come out and give something back to the community," Wade said. He said Hagerstown Ford gives goats back to the youths that own them, and has steers processed and the meat sent to San Mar Children's Home.
Jack Downin, who has been an auctioneer at the market sale for at least 20 years, said charity is a hallmark of the event.
"You'll find that some of the bidders do buy these animals for consumption, but a lot of them are just trying to give back some of what they've gotten," Downin said.
Downin noted that many of the winning bidders, such as Donald Spickler Insurance, Anytime Electric and Jefferson Security Bank, have no use for farm animals.
"What are these guys going to do with a goat or a pig?" Downin said.
Even John Joppy of Joppy's BBQ, who bought a 220-pound hog, said he was giving the animal to the 4-H swine club.
"I'm a vendor out here, and if I make money, I feel like I should give some of it back," Joppy said.
But while most buyers said they were donating the animals they bought, at least one was there to keep what he bought.
Charles Hose, bidding on behalf of Bragunier Masonry, was one of only a handful of bidders interested in Donnie Stoy's Grand Champion steer, which weighed in at 1,386 pounds.
The bidding began at $5 per pound, but quickly dropped to $2. The steer finally sold to Hose at $2.50 per pound, or $3,465.
Hose, who has been bidding at the Ag Expo for at least 20 years, made no bones about his plans for the Ag Expo's most valuable animal.
"I'm going to eat it," Hose said.