For the first time, the L.A. County Fair’s Junior Livestock Auction and its companion judging contests, traditionally held during the annual county fair, will move to November as part of Fairplex’s year-round calendar of events. The auction is slated for 11 a.m. Nov. 14 at FairView Farms. It is free and open to the public.
The move to separate dates will allow for an individual spotlight to be put on the hard work and endeavors of 4-H and FFA members, college students enrolled in livestock curriculum and other youth involved in raising animals as a small business enterprise. Proceeds from the auction go directly to these “entrepreneurs.”
“The priority of (the junior livestock competition and auction) has always been and will continue to be to support agricultural programming,” said Jill Roman, Fairplex attractions and competitions supervisor.
The Junior Livestock Auction kicks off with a pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. A Bidding 101 class, where participants will receive a crash course on all things auction, will be offered to newcomers from 9 a.m. to noon. Sky Shivers, FairView Farms’ resident cowboy ambassador, will be on hand to offer a dose of country life and cowboy humor.
While the auction is the highlight, the Junior Livestock show is a multi-day event. Market, showmanship and breeding classes previously held during the Fair will be presented during the new dates. Here is a list of events:
- Thursday, Nov. 12, judging begins at 9 a.m. and includes all market and feeder classes for swine, lambs, goats, calves and beef cattle, all of which culminate with the selection of Supreme Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion for each. Showmanship and breeding classes will also be held that day.
- Friday, Nov. 13, 11 a.m., large livestock skillathons for beef, sheep, goat and swine exhibitors will be held in which contestants are pitted against one another on subjects such as identification of meat cuts, recognizing and interpreting medication labels, anatomy, structural difference, hoof trimming and other tasks. Master Showmanship contests for winners in Thursday’s classes will be at 11 a.m. Friday.
- Fun and fashion come together Friday, Nov. 13, at 5 p.m. including Thummer’s Costume Contest for ages 5 to 21 years showing off their creative swine couture; Mini Costume Contest for kids 5 to 8 years who want to dress up their animals; Lads and Lassies for sheep as well as contestant modeling their wool outfits; and the National Beef Belles Lead which focuses on leather attire and accessories worn by the owner escorting their beef animal.
Each year nearly 200 buyers including individuals as well as companies large and small, service clubs, restaurants, grocery chains and several fair concessionaires purchase animals for personal or commercial use. Individuals often buy their meat supply for the year or retail businesses use the meat in a variety of promotions, company parties or special events. Vegans (and anyone else!) can even bid and donate their sides of meat to charity, or just make a donation to the student breeders.
Free parking is available at Gate 9 on White Avenue. Anyone interested in obtaining more information on the Junior Livestock Auction or registering as a buyer may call the Agriculture Department at (909) 865-4005.