More than 250 Walworth County 4-H and FFA members will participate in the Walworth County Fair Meat Animal Sale Friday afternoon. For many, the activity serves as the climax of their yearlong beef, sheep, or swine market animal project experience.

For 4-H members, the project year begins as early as Oct. 1 and continues through Sept. 30, and is comprised of a blend of education, skill development, camaraderie and hard work – all of which members agree mixes up into their brand of “fun.”

Some of them breed and raise their own market animals while others purchase market animals to finish growing and show. Regardless, they spend countless hours with their animals –feeding them, watering them, grooming them, managing their health, and training them in preparation for their big moments in the show ring and sale.

“I really appreciate the opportunity the market animal project experience provides to make great memories and meet other kids and families with my same interests,” said Landon Rehberg, a Swine Project member in Elkhorn 4-H.

“I love traveling to shows and seeing friends I don’t always get to see, as well as bonding all summer with my steer and watching him progress,” said Elizabeth Katzman, a Whitewater FFA Beef Project member.

Key words that appear across members’ responses when asked what they are learning from the market animal project experience include: responsibility, the meaning of commitment and persistence, what it means to have patience, financial management, the importance of being a good sport, and the fact that farming market animals is very hard work.

From their participation in the meat animal sale, specifically, members cite learning a range of skills from networking, marketing, and letter writing, to the meaning of gratitude and the importance of being thankful. Additionally, they agree that sale participation is a means to an important end – as almost everyone noted that their project proceeds go directly into their college savings accounts.

“The market animal project work and sale experiences have taught me to always be dedicated to what I start,” said Jarrett Breber, a Beef Project member with Elkhorn FFA.

“I have learned what real hard work is. I love working with animals, and I may have a future job in it,” said Karmin Kilpin of Sugar Creek 4-H.

“It has taught me responsibilities for when I get older, like making sure I am at my job every day, and I give that job my best,” added Joseph Pearce, a Swine Project member with Big Foot Pioneers 4-H Club.

About the sale

The 170th Walworth County Meat Animal Sale will at 10 a.m. today, Aug. 30, in the Wiswell Center at the Walworth County Fairgrounds. Sale order will be beef, sheep and then swine, with the sale of Grand and Reserve Grand Champion live and carcass animals following at about 3 p.m.

Bidding is in cents per pound of live animal. Champion carcasses are also sold on a live weight basis. Buyers may send their purchases to a locker plant for custom processing or to market for resale (paying the difference between the purchase price and the market price). They may also opt to donate their purchase to the Buyers’ Appreciation Banquet held in late September or to an organization of their choice.

The Walworth County Business Association will clerk the event. Terms of sale are cash, check, or credit card. All are welcome to attend and bid on these quality meat animals.

“If you support the sale, you can help many young kids continue to work in their projects and grow. The money made from the sale also goes towards college and other important life events. Supporting the sale helps young kids learn how to work hard, set goals, see a project through even when things get hard, and provides a high quality product to consumers,” according to Myles and Olivia Lois, Elkhorn 4-H members.


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