Several new records in the Elkhart County 4-H Fair livestock auction Friday, July 26, helped push the auction’s preliminary total to more than $1 million.
The preliminary total for this year’s auction is an all-time high of $1,042,127.60, according to Brian Campbell, who helps with the sale.
“Several years ago, we got really close, then sort of backed off,” Renee Troyer-Campbell, auction treasurer, said about reaching the $1 million mark. “We just leaped over it this year.”
“It continues to blow me away how the community supports these kids,” she said.
The money used to purchase each animal goes wholly to that animal’s 4-H owner.
“The fair, in general, is just so well supported by the community,” she said, “and that extends into the auction, having a large 4-H program, huge livestock clubs.”
New records were set in the goat, lamb, poultry, rabbit and swine auctions.
In the goat auction, Elkhart County 4-H Fair Queen Sierra Walter’s grand champion dairy market goat sold for $17,000, setting a new record. Walter’s goat was also the highest selling lot in the day-long auction. The goats brought in a total of $80,505 for 95 lots, by far passing the previous record of $52,991 in 2011.
In the lamb auction, 168 lambs sold for a new record of $108,262, topping the previous record of $103,862 set in 2007.
One hundred thirteen pens sold in the poultry auction for a new record of $32,050, beating the previous record of $26,050 from 2011.
The swine auction had 259 lots and beat last year’s record of $255,919 by bringing in $262,095.
The rabbit auction sold 73 pens for a new record of $19,225, surpassing the 2007 record of $19,095.
The dairy clubs’ 10 cheese baskets raised $17,700. The dairy feeder auction brought in $211,300, with 247 calves sold. The beef auction brought in $310,991 on 120 lots.
Along with donors’ financial generosity in the auction, 30 individuals or buyers groups also donated a total of 70 animals to Church Community Services’ Seed to Feed program to help provide food for local families in need, said Campbell. Troyer-Campbell said that meat processors are also offering free butchering services for those animals.
Phil Tom, one of the owners of Turtle Top, said that his company had purchased 17 goats to donate. Darin Miller, president of Millmark Enterprises, said that his company had purchased four goats to donate.
“Obviously it’s a good cause,” Miller said about donating the goats. He also praised the way the community comes together to help local youths at the annual auction.
“It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing we can do once every year to raise all the money we do for these kids,” he said.