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Support Eagle County 4-H kids from the comfort of your living room couch

Junior livestock sale is online this year and it begins at 3 p.m. Friday

This file photo shows judging at the Eagle County 4-H poultry show. Kids showed their market animals this week with COVID-19 precautions in place including masks and social distancing. The 2020 Eagle County Junior Livestock Sale is being conducted on line this year, with bidding open from 3 p.m. Friday, July 24 through 8 p.m. Saturday, July 25.
Special to the Daily

EAGLE — The Eagle County community has always come out in force to support its 4-H kids during the county fair’s junior livestock sale. During these times of COVID-19, a little extra effort will be required from the county’s generous sale supporters.

In truth, this year’s sale may actually require less buyer effort than ever, since anyone can purchase a 4-H animal from the comfort of his or her own living room couch.

This year’s Eagle County Fair & Rodeo was canceled, but local 4-H kids still had cows, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens and turkeys to care for. They work with their project animals for months in preparation for the junior livestock sale so it would have been a particularly cruel blow to deprive them of the chance to sell their market animals. But local 4-H organizers got together to plan a COVID-19 alternative.

This year the Eagle County junior livestock sale will be an online auction. Bidding will begin Friday at 3 p.m. and concludes Saturday at 8 p.m.

To participate in the auction, bidders must preregister at https://www.stockshowauctions.com/buyer. Following the completion of the sale, all buyers will receive a personal thank you letter and a framed color photo of the 4-H member they supported and the animal they purchased. Last year, the sale raised more than $379,000 for the 4-H exhibitors.

“Your participation in the auction will provide untold opportunities to Eagle County’s hardest working kids,” said Jenny Leonetti, 4-H/youth development director for Eagle County Colorado State University Extension. “In fact, 97% of the proceeds from your purchase go directly to the child who raised your animal.”

While the format has changed, Leonetti noted that participation is solid for the sale. “We have 10 fewer animals than last year, primarily in our poultry show,” she said, noting that kids launched poultry projects in March, just when the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns were at their height and uncertainty was rampant.

“But our overall numbers are strong with more animals in other areas,” Leonetti added.

Auction options

Leonetti noted that buyers have several purchase options. Some auction participants purchase an animal on their own or split it with a friend. She said people often ask how much meat they can expect from 1,200-pound market steer. Here’s the breakdown.

Other auction buyers choose to donate their animal to a worthy cause, such as The Community Market, Leonetti said. “Ask your accountant about tax deduction possibilities,” she advised. 

Finally, buyers can consign their purchase back to the Junior Livestock Sale Committee. “Your purpose of buying at the auction is solely for support and promotion,” Leonetti explained. “Buyers do not retain possession of the animal with this option.”

To learn more about the junior livestock sale, as well as the county’s 4-H program, visit ec4h.org or the Eagle County 4-H Facebook page.


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