4-H exhibitors showcase livestock in premium auction
CARTHAGE, IL —
Bidders from seed companies, banks and ag organizations raised their cards to support youth in agriculture Thursday.
Hancock County 4-H showers got the option to auction their pig, sheep or even cow off at the 4-H fair in Carthage.
"It is really fun to get out there and show off your pigs and skills as a showman,” said 4-Her McKenna Merritt.
Merritt has been in 4-H for six years now.
"I started doing the pee-wee big show since I could remember so probably when I was two. It pretty much evolved from there. My brother showed and my sister showed,” said Merritt.
On Wednesday, she put her pig up for bid at the auction which went for $1,200.
Merritt said, "You just want to show them all of the best angles of your pig and your showmanship skills."
The twist, she gets to keep her animal and the money.
"What gets bid on the animal earlier today is what the kid gets but the kid gets to keep their animal and take it home. So, it is strictly a premium, basically a gift to the kids that showed,” said auction volunteer Mike McClelland.
Merritt plans to use her premium money to buy new stock for years to come.
"You always have to have the best mom and dad and the grandparents and all of the genes to get the best show pig at the fair,” said Merritt.
And while she's planning generations ahead, the Hancock County tradition of the premium auction goes back 18 years.
"What the champion of each species brings, the reserve champion can't bring more than that and all of the other animals in that species can't bring anymore than the reserves,” said McClelland.
The highest bid placed on Thursday, $2,250.
That was for the champion steer.