WESTMINSTER -- The younger group of 4-H'ers screeched "higher, higher," as the auctioneer called out the latest bids on the animals at Friday night's livestock auction at the Carroll County 4-H Fair.
The children, at least, were audible.
But no matter how garbled the auctioneer's words became, no one had trouble understanding that the event was raising money -- big money.
The 159 animals sold during this year's installment of the annual event brought in $111,000, $8,400 more than last year.
The animals raised by the 4-H'ers are cared for and groomed to near-perfection and then auctioned off, first for donations, later for to be butchered.
But many of the exhibitors are used to it.
Monica Feeser of Taneytown seemed to take it all in stride as she smiled and smoothed the coat of her 1,205-pound Grand Champion Steer, which also doubled as the Champion Angus Steer, just before it sold for $7.50 a pound, or $9,037.50, to Masonry Contractors in Hampstead.
Monica was also responsible for last year's Grand Champion Steer, which sold to Giant Food of Landover, for $6.25 per pound. The steer weighed 1,225 pounds.
Brett Fogle walked his Reserve Grand Champion Steer (also the Champion Crossbred Steer) proudly back and forth in front of the cheering crowd. The steer, weighing 1,245 pounds, sold for $3.25 per pound.
And Jessica Fogle didn't have such a little lamb. The 120-pound Grand Champion market lamb, Jessica's second in as many years, was purchased by Masonry Contractors for $65 per pound.
"These kids may find it hard to sell the animals sometime, but they know this when they raised them," said Shirley Hoff, a Westminster resident who volunteers at the fair. "Some understand that it is the only way to make a profit. Others don't."
Several children sat in the corner of the auction area holding signs that said "Thank you for your support" to show their appreciation for the bids that will keep the 4-H Fair going.
And that's what the sale did -- for 4 1/2 hours.
Masonry Contractors also purchased Greg Soper's 250-pound Grand Champion Market Hog for $3.60 a pound, or $900.
Monica had a very good night. Her Reserve Grand Champion hog was purchased back by her family for $3.20 for each of its 249 pounds, or $796.80.
Her pair of market lambs, 120 pounds combined, sold for $1.75 a pound.
The last sale of the night went to Interstate Battery, which bought Ross Bair's 65-pound Champion Meat Goat for $4.25 a pound, $292.50 total.
The proceeds from the event, one of the highlights of the fair which ended yesterday, go to the 4-H'ers and the Future Farmers of America.
Some of the money is donated to scholarships.