Krista Shaffer didn't think selling her lamb at the annual 4-H and FFA junior livestock sale would be a big deal when she first decided to participate in the market sheep program.
She had a different opinion when the sale rolled around Saturday night at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.
"It's really sad," Shaffer said. "You get really attached to the animals, because you spend so much time with them."
This was Shaffer's first year participating in the program, and after shedding many tears for Ace, it was time to lead him to the ring.
The bidding for Ace went for roughly three minutes. The 149-pound lamb sold for $1,132, or $7.60 per pound, to Tim Jantz and Bret Steele.
Shaffer said she didn't think it would be so hard to let her lamb go, but when the time came it was hard to force a smile.
"I was spending time with Ace before school everyday," Shaffer said, with tears in her eyes.
Selling livestock is a tradition passed down from Shaffer's parents, who groomed animals for sale while growing up. Shaffer put forward a stiff upper lip and put the sale of her animal into perspective.
"I wanted to do the livestock," Shaffer said. "So it's something I have to deal with."
On the other end of the scale, the livestock sale brings the entire community together in rallying support for the future of Moffat County.
For Chris Maneotis, it is his 31st year buying animals at the sale.
"I like doing business with people. Especially those who want to do business with me," Maneotis said.
Maneotis was at the sale to purchase beef and swine livestock. The owner of Victory Motors didn't have any particular pig in mind, but he had a few head of beef he was watching for.
Once the purchase is made, the buyers have the option to take a picture with the seller and the livestock. After the sale, livestock is shipped to a processor of the buyer's choice.
"The worst animal here is still better than any meat you'd get at the store," Maneotis said. "Usually we divide it up at the dealership, and sell it at market price to the employees."
Maneotis said the livestock sale isn't about the livestock at all, but about the kids and supporting the community.
For many buyers, purchasing the livestock is a good way to give back to the community. Many opt to donate their purchases to local business and organizations.
Phil Sanders is one such buyer.
"Anything we buy here, we'll donate back," Sanders said. "For instance, the steer we purchase tonight will be donated to the Jewel Assisted Living Center of Craig."
Melanie McDaniels can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org.