As the swine portion of the Jackson County 4-H livestock auction began Saturday, Braden Marcott was the first to parade his pig around the show arena.
The offering price kept increasing, and the final one came in at $3,500. It was enough to make a pig squeal.
Marcott was happy, too. In the past couple of years, his hogs had gone for $900 and $1,100.
It was a good way to end his third year of showing at the fair. Earlier in the week, he had claimed grand champion barrow for the first time with his 276-pound pig, Bruce.
“Winning that trophy meant more than anything,” the 18-year-old Norman resident said. “I didn’t know what to think. We went out with a bang.”
Marcott was among Jackson County 4-H’ers entering an animal into the auction at the fairgrounds show arena. The auction saw 221 animals bring in $253,425.
Several individuals, industries and businesses attend the auction each year in hopes of claiming a cow, sheep, goat or pig. Typically, 4-H’ers either put the money into a savings account or use it to buy or take care of another animal.
Marcott said he is going to put his earnings toward a breeding program at his family farm.
“We have about eight sows. We raise show pigs,” he said. “It will buy all of the semen and should go a long way on baby pig feed.”
Marcott said he has no idea what will happen to Bruce, but he knows all of the time he spent preparing the pig for the fair was worth it. He also showed three other pigs at the fair.
“Me and him have done a lot of laps out in the barn lot,” he said. “We actually raised all of them that we showed this year here.”
Marcott’s father, Chris, said he was proud of his son for his efforts.
“It’s a lot of responsibility, and he did the work,” Chris Marcott said. “I hadn’t seen the hogs until a week before the fair. It has helped him tremendously.”
Chris said he couldn’t believe it when Braden won grand champion.
“We brought all of these hogs up here, and we bred them all there at the house and didn’t buy any,” he said. “We weren’t expecting much. We had the right judge, the right day, the right time. It’s a lot better when you don’t buy them and you raise them.”
Then for Bruce to bring in $3,500, Chris said it was tremendous.
Braden graduated from Brownstown Central High School in the spring and is headed to Purdue University, where he plans on entering the pre-veterinary program.
“He’s a good kid, and I hope he does good at Purdue,” Chris said.
Abbie Price, 18, of Leesville saw her grand champion wether Boer goat go for $600 at the auction. The goat made it a little difficult for her by halting its feet several times upon entering the show arena.
Working with goats during her nine years in 4-H, she said she has learned a lot.
“I actually got into it from my aunt. They’ve always had a big goat farm,” said Price, a senior at Bedford North Lawrence High School. “It has been fun. It has taught me a lot of stuff, like responsibility.”
She said she was excited to earn grand champion with her goat, which was born in February.
“It was definitely the goat,” she said. “He’s just powerful, really. It’s my bloodlines. They are really good.”
Price said the goats typically are auctioned off for their meat. Saying goodbye to her goat wasn’t as tough, she said, because she has seven others at home.
“If he was my only one, I would be crying,” she said.
Price plans on using her earnings to buy more goats.
Also entering a Boer goat into the auction was Brittany Ross, 16, of Vallonia. This was her eighth year in 4-H and third time participating in the auction.
“I’m one of those people that doesn’t like to eat my own show animals,” she said. “If we took them home, Mom would say, ‘Oh, we’re going to eat them.’ So I’d much rather run them through the auction and save up money for college than to say, ‘I’m going to eat my own show animal.’”
The Crothersville High School junior’s 79-pound goat went for $450.
“It really helps the 4-H’er out a lot because if we just went and took it to the meat market, it would just put food on our table, and we wouldn’t really get that help,” she said. “If we do this, it helps kids put back money for all of their hard work for things that they need.”
Brittany said saying goodbye to one of her animals is easier than it used to be.
“The first year, it was really rough because that was my first year, and I baby my animals,” she said. “Now, it’s to the point where I do it enough and I’m OK with it because I know the money will go for better things.”
Gary Darlage, owner of Darlage Custom Meats in Seymour, said this was his 10th time buying animals from the auction.
He said throughout the year at his business, he works with a lot of the 4-H’ers and their families, so the auction is his way of supporting them.
“It keeps you close to them, I think, and it helps the kids,” he said.
From first-year 4-H’ers to 10-year members, Darlage said he sees the benefit of the program and the auction.
“It gives them a work ethic and a good work attitude in taking care of their animals,” he said. “I know there’s a lot of sad faces when they sell them.”
Animal;Swine;Sheep;Dairy Beef;Beef;Boer Goat;Totals
Total Sale Price;$93,950;$12,775;$78,300;$57,900;$10,500;$253,425