Moffat County Fair Junior Livestock Auction to fund 4-H

Money goes toward animals, feed and youths' college accounts

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— A large part of the 4-H program is about learning leadership skills, responsibility and citizenship, director Alisa Comstock said.

That's partly behind 45 youngsters descended upon local businesses Wednesday morning bringing information and display posters for the upcoming Junior Livestock Auction.

For 89 years, the Moffat County Fair has reached conclusion with the winning livestock being auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The youngsters are quick to explain that the money from the sale first goes to pay for their animals and feed for their project. Leftover funds often go into a college account for the youths.

"Speaking to people in public is a way to enhance communication skills," Comstock said. "The livestock sale promotion takes a couple of hours, and most of them will be done by noon."

The sales pitch includes an invitation for business owners to attend the auction at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11.

A buyer's barbecue starts at 4 p.m. leading up to the sale. Businesses often pay high prices for award-winning livestock as a show of support for 4-H programs, and photos hanging in the stores and shops around town promote the fair and the livestock sale year-round.

Most youngsters with livestock projects have their animals for a large part of the year, with steers showing up for their first weigh-in Feb. 4.

Raising animals teaches the youths responsibility along with other important traits, Constock said.

"Even on cold winter mornings, they have to feed them before they go to school," she said. "They also learn financing and nutrition with the animals they raise for the fair."

Tiarra Schroeder is an 11-year-old showing pigs and dogs at the fair. She has three years experience with 4-H programs, and is making her presentation at Colorado Northwestern Community College.

"You won't want to miss the festivities, great food and music," she said.

After convincing the college to hang a poster in their window, the group of youngsters ventured off to Trapper Fitness Center with their chaperone, Wendy Buckley.

"They canvass the town," Comstock said. "We have listed 359 business that the groups will visit today."

The 12 groups of children covering Craig have adult drivers to help them complete their assigned routes.

Not all businesses contacted will attend the auction at the end of the fair, but those that do will be following advice at the bottom of the poster now hanging in their front windows.

"Supporting Today's Youth and Tomorrow's Leaders," it says.

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