The auction starts early on the last Friday of the fair and goes late, until the last steer is purchased.
"It's just a huge thing -- it's probably the biggest single-day event in the whole program, because it's for everybody," he said
The excitement started for the kids early in the morning.
Most starting washing, brushing and otherwise getting their animals ready for their time on the floor. Just before
The kids guide their animals in and seconds later, the animals are sold to the highest bidder.
And the 4-Hers earn pretty good money for them -- usually quite a bit more than what the animal's market value would be, Burbrink said.
That's because the buyers want to support
Sometimes a group of people will get together and pool their money to bid on a particular 4-Her's animal. Some people can't attend the auction, but they'll call and donate a particular amount of money to help a 4-Her who might not be getting high bids, Burbrink said.
"A lot of the buyers were in
Last year, the fair's auction brought in
After the auction, buyers can choose to keep the animal they purchased, have it processed for meat or donate it to organizations like Church Community Services' Seed to Feed program, which provides locally grown and raised food to people in need in
The 4-Her, on the other hand, gets to keep the money they earned from their animal.
Many kids use some of that money to buy their animal project for the next year's fair, and many put the money in a college fund, Burbrink said.
Sometimes it's hard for 4-Hers to part with their animal, especially kids in their first few years of
"(The auction) kind of takes them to the next step of, this is what happens when you are producing farm goods," Burbrink said.
(c)2014 The Elkhart Truth (Elkhart, Ind).
Visit The Elkhart Truth (Elkhart, Ind). at www.elkharttruth.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services