OKANOGAN – Youth who show steers, swine and lambs at the Okanogan County Fair can sell their animals during the Saturday afternoon market stock sale.
Last year, 235 animals sold, bringing in $396,993.56 for their young owners.
The 3 p.m. sale, in the Berg Brothers Pavilion, attracts a crowd of several hundred bidders and onlookers for an afternoon of bidding on grand and reserve champion hogs, steers and lambs, plus blue and red ribbon animals.
FFA, 4-H and junior open competitors sold 59 steers, 126 hogs and 50 lambs last year.
Bidders have a choice of buying the animals outright or paying support – the difference between the packer price and the animal’s sale price.
Packer prices vary from year to year, and are set just before the fair.
Upon arrival at the sale, those who plan to bid can sign up for a bidder number and pick up a listing of all exhibitors and their animals. The listing includes the type of ribbon the animal earned and the animal’s weight, plus the packer price for each type of animal.
Buying an animal is a great way to show support of exhibitors’ hard work, according to fair officials.
Sales are based on price per pound.
Those who choose to keep an animal can arrange to have it cut and wrapped. Those who don’t want the animal pay their share and the animal goes to the packer.
Historically, bidders have included individuals – sometimes relatives or friends of the exhibitors – plus businesses, service clubs and other organizations that chip in to support youth.
Last year, Alzora Wilson, Okanogan, sold her grand champion steer for $3.25 per pound for a total of $4,098.25.
The grand champion lamb, shown by Kaelyn Bruns, Okanogan, sold for $11 per pound for a total of $1,518.
The grand champion pig brought Tristian Shiflett, Okanogan, $4.50 per pound, or a total of $1,233.
A second sale, the fur and feather auction, is planned at 1 p.m. Sunday for youngsters to sell smaller animals such as poultry and rabbits.
Purchases may be retained by the buyer or donated to someone else.
Local auctioneers donate their time to the sales.