Big crowd turns out for livestock sale
Karissa Maneotis had mixed feelings as she circled the show ring one final time during the 2005 Moffat County Fair.
“(I feel) sad but happy,” the 12-year-old said. “Sad because I worked all this time and got attached, but happy because I’ve worked all this time and I’ve earned the money.”
She was one of more than 100 youth showmen who sold their livestock to the highest bidder Saturday evening.
Maneotis was the only one who sold two animals. Youths are only allowed to sell one of their animals, unless they take grand or reserve champion with more than one. Maneotis had the grand champion lamb and goat, named Dr. Pepper and Pickles respectively.
Tyler Gerber, 9, sold Reba, his grand champion pig, Saturday. He had a hard time letting her go after the auction.
“She was so sweet,” he said.
But not everything at the sale was sad. Gerber kept his sense of humor by putting a curly red wig on his pig so she would look like Reba McEntire, one of Gerber’s favorite singers.
“Just to make her look pretty,” he said.
All the youths’ efforts don’t go unnoticed. Bidders like Cashway Distributors Manager Jeff Corriveau appreciate their hard work.
“We want to support the kids,” he said. “They spend their whole summers with their animals. They deserve it.”
He recognizes the advertising benefit for the store, and often bids on animals of loyal customers. He said the event also is a social one, because so many people come out to the fair that night.
“This community really supports the fair,” Corriveau said. “That’s why it’s such a good sale.”
With the bleachers overflowing with spectators and bidders, Maneotis was tense in the show ring, and she’s sure she wasn’t the only one.
“All those people,” she said. “And then you can tell your animal’s nervous too because sometimes they don’t want to walk.”
Animals Maneotis did not sell will likely accompany her to the state fair competition. Unlike other 4-H projects, livestock classes include a new crop of animals, instead of the same ones shown at the county level.
Most of the money she made at the sale goes toward next year’s animals, and 4-H Foundation Treasurer DeLaine Brown said there’s plenty of that to go around.
“The sale grossed better than it ever has,” she said. “All averages are up this year.”
Seth Morgan’s grand champion meat pen rabbits were not sold because they were underweight. He had the only pen at the fair.
Brown was impressed by the businesses’ generosity and thankful for the successful livestock auction.
“It was a very great sale,” she said. “The community supported those kids tremendously.”
But five years in and Maneotis said saying goodbye to her pets does not get any easier.
“It’s a new animal every year,” she said, “and new dedication.”
Michelle Perry may be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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