4-H Livestock Auction steers cash to good causes

August 07, 1994|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Sun Staff Writer

When the bidding on steers slowed at the 4-H Livestock Auction Friday night, auctioneer Jack Downing was always ready with a sales pitch.

"This is just a baby," he told the crowd at the 4-H/FFA Fair Friday night, referring to Gabe Zepp's grand champion 1,250-pound red Angus steer.

"I know this boy needs money," Mr. Downing said, repeating the phrase he used to encourage higher bids for many a young man. "He's dating a girl."

But when the bidding got fast and furious, culminating in $5,250, or $4.20 per pound, for the animal, Mr. Downing couldn't resist one last quip.

"This steer might have a calf before we get him sold tonight," the volunteer auctioneer said.

The auction, an annual event, raises money for individual exhibitors to purchase a new animal, pay for their education or donate to their favorite charity.

Purchasers who do not wish to keep the meat can then donate the animal back to the sale, giving the money earned from selling it at the Westminster Livestock Auction to the organization of their choice.

For example, Ginger Hull -- who is one of eight teens nationwide helping to organize the 4-H National Congress in Orlando, Fla., this fall -- donated the $462 from her 220-pound hog to a fund that will send fellow 4-H'ers to the event.

Martin Hill Landscaping and Masonry Contractors then decided to donate the animal back, giving the money to Ginger.

Other chosen organizations included Carroll Community College, the 4-H program and even Commissioner Donald I. Dell's re-election campaign.

The commissioner, a former Westminster farmer, bought an animal himself, spending $418 for Leroy Schaefer's 220-pound hog.

Leroy had received reserve grand champion in the fitting and showing portion of the swine contest.

"The pigs are pretty uniform, but the kids come in all sizes," Bob Shirley, an extension agent who works with the 4-H program, said as Elly Hoff entered the ring with a hog that was easily two or three times her size.

The 230-pound hog, purchased by County Fair Farms, fetched $7.50 a pound, or $1,725, a full dollar per pound more than the grand champion hog sold by Monica Feeser.

Monica's 255-pound pig was purchased by R. H. Mullinex and Sons and Tate of Annapolis for $1,657.50. The grand champion market lamb, which weighed 115 pounds, earned $1,150 for Jennifer Wildesen.

Auction organizers also gave Friend of 4-H awards to the first-, second- and third-largest livestock buyers from last year's auctions.

Masonry Contractors, owned by Martin K. P. Hill, and Martin Hill Landscaping, owned by his son, spent the most money at last year's auction.

Buck Miller, owner of C. J. Miller, was second and Finch Services was third.

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