The Pacific County Youth Market Livestock Sale was formed to replace a popular critter scramble county fair event. It is one of the few public opportunities to highlight what the 4-H and FFA livestock projects involve and for the community to be involved.
Every market livestock project member must complete a quality assurance course and keep accurate paper work detailing animal health and growth. Leaders work with members to present a quality animal and on the basic elements of marketing, good manners and sale information. Sale project members work hard each year to attract buyers to keep up with the sale's growth. Every youth who enters the sale ring does so with the knowledge that they are a winner because they have achieved the right to sell their animal. This is a goal not all members achieve.
Seven new buyers came to the sale as a direct result of the members' marketing approaches.
A survey of past year's buyers showed a high level of satisfaction with the sale and how it is managed. Buyers feel their money and the sale are handled properly.
Our local veterinarian reports a correlation between members completing the animal quality assurance training and an increase in appropriate animal husbandry techniques on those farms.
One buyer donated his purchases to community food banks. The swine provided 120 meals for local families.
The Nisqually Tribe purchased one steer for use in nutrition programs for tribal elders and children. The seller is invited to a future dinner where his achievement of raising quality beef will be acknowledged.
All project members state they are saving some of their earnings for the future and a portion for next year's project animal. Few 4-H projects are raised alone.
Seven of the twelve swine members each raised at least one pig for their family's own consumption. The cost of housing, feed and miscellaneous needs associated in raising an animal contributes to our local economy.
The auction helps youth develop the personal skills of responsibility, cooperation, dependability and sportsmanship. The recipient of the Alford Hodel sportsmanship award is the member who best embodies these ideals. Project members pick the recipient as their way of recognizing these principles in their peers.