And for the children whose animals are sold, the auction can be lucrative.
In this year's livestock auction, which is
Joriann Heikkinen, 15, is showing a miniature Hereford steer and a Yorkshire hog, cleverly named Chip and Dip. It's her seventh year as a member of the
"We do so good. We get great prices on our sales compared to other counties," Heikkinen said. "I like watching (the animals) grow, but then it's really sad because you have to sell them. You say you don't get attached, but you do. They're market
animals, not pets, but it's
The prices the livestock command are higher than your average pound of beef at the grocery store, but the money often goes into a kid's college fund. Selling a hog for
That's why many businesses and individuals around town open their wallets and bid
Regular patrons of the
"We're civic-minded and we like to give back to the community," said
Ray's brother Ron chimed in about the importance of the auction and involving county youth in agriculture.
"We need to get these kids exposed to agriculture, and participating in these contests is a great way," Ron said. "(In cities like Butte is) where we need more exposure, so the urban population gets more appreciation for what agriculture is all about."
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