The selling of prize-winning livestock raised by 4-H members, Future Farmers of America and college students will continue as tradition at the L.A. County Fair, but it will be held a week earlier than usual to coincide with the junior livestock competition, which has moved to the first leg of the Fair’s Sept. 8 – Oct. 1 run. The annual auction is slated for 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 16, at Hinds Pavilion and serves as the culminating event for the market livestock judging. The public is invited to participate.
Upon arrival at the Fair, market animals including hogs, goats, calves, beef cattle, rabbits, poultry and turkeys are judged and graded in various competitive classes and only the best are selected for the auction. All of them have been raised by youth and students involved in various agriculture and livestock programs. This event represents the end of their yearlong project and small business endeavor where they seek to obtain a good price for their animals to help offset the cost to raise and feed them and hopefully make a profit. Many use their funds raised from the auction to buy another animal to raise for next year’s Fair.
The 4-H and FFA organizations, college livestock programs and other youth agriculture groups provide guidance and instruction for raising market animals, recordkeeping, feeding programs and practical skills.
Each year nearly 200 buyers including individuals as well as businesses, service clubs, restaurants and grocery chains converge to buy these animals for various uses while supporting these educational programs. Among the longtime supporters of the auction are Farmer John Meats of Vernon and O. H. Kruse Grain and Milling in Ontario.
Last year a total of 172 prize-winning market livestock were auctioned off to the public with buyers paying more than the previous year. The champion animals typically bring in the most money. The highest price paid per pound for a champion last year was $13 per pound or $1,937 for the Supreme Grand Champion Market Lamb raised by 9-year-old Tyler Walker of