Champion Pig Fetched
$1,441 at Livestock Auction
Maddison Norsworthy’s (a Alva Middle student) champion pig fetched $1,441 on Saturday during the SWFL Lee County Fair livestock auction.
The livestock auction is part of a 4-H and FFA program that encourages area children to purchase their own livestock, raise the animals and sell them at the fair.
Norsworthy said she learned about responsibility and chores, saying she plans to raise another pig next year. Is farming in her future?
A total of 159 animals — 133 swine and 26 steer were auctioned Saturday, said Tim Mann a Fair board member and auction organizer. “This is like their football, their volleyball,” Mann said
Students must feed the animals twice a day, groom them regularly, learn to show the animal at auctions and keep up with the amount spent versus expected income.
All animals were sold Saturday, regardless of bid prices. Some kids, Mann said, lose money in the end. The lessons learned, however, are worth the effort and financial risk.
“They have to learn the market and they keep records,” Mann said. “Each one of those kids should be able to tell you how much they need per pound to break even.”
All children involved in the livestock auction also must keep daily records of the animal’s weight as well as financial records, which include feed and any veterinarian bills.
Not only does the program instill business sense into these young minds, but the auction provides top-notch meat for local farmers, slaughterhouses and even grocery stores. Money spent on the animals is tax deductible.
Tony Mast, part-owner of the local Culligan Water franchise, said he first attended the auctions as a child, going to the fair each year with his father. He wanted to raise livestock as a kid, but his family lived close to town, not near farmlands.
“Now I have three daughters showing steers,” Mast said. “I finally was able to move east and own some farmland.”
Mast’s children all attend Riverdale High School.
Mast, who bought Norsworthy’s champion pig, said, “It’s good meat too, the best bacon I’ve ever had. This is going in the freezer. For the last year these animals have been treated like kings.”