MERCER, Pa. — As the photographers and auctioneers set up for the annual Mercer County 4-H Roundup livestock sale, someone asked a 4-H member if she was sad when she had to sell her goat.
“I cried the first year until I got the check. Now, I’m smiling the whole way to the bank,” she said.
The 4-H members work all year to arrive with their livestock at the annual sale. Their goal is to be in the Sale of Champions, which includes the champion and reserve champion in each species as well as the champion and reserve champion beef, hog and lamb carcasses.
The members not only learn how to raise and show their animals but also learn sales skills, how to work with adults and the etiquette of dealing with someone who has purchased from them.
Parents and 4-H leaders teach the members the importance of saying “thank you.”
Exhibitors shake hands with their buyers and thank them when they come forward to have their picture taken with the animals, offering them cookies and a mug or other item to commemorate the sale.
Following the pictures, they present the buyers with the championship banners. And that isn’t the end. Following the sale, 4-H members write thank-you letters to their buyers.
These are skills they will use over and over in life, and it begins when they are 4-H members.
The 2013 Sale of Champions was the final event for the 2013 Mercer County 4-H Roundup, which was held July 28-Aug. 2.
The sale began with the grand champion market hog, weighing 261 pounds, shown by Shyloh McTighe of Hadley. Pymatuning Deer Park of Jamestown purchased the hog for $8 per pound.
The reserve grand champion market hog was shown by Courtnie Roberts of Clarks Mills and sold to Westford Milling of Westford, Pa., for $5.20 per pound.
Zane Fuss of Grove City showed the grand champion market rabbit project, weighing 7 pounds. Reynolds Sparkle Market and Hadley Giant Eagle purchased the rabbit for $57.50 per pound.
Rory McTighe showed the reserve grand champion market rabbit project with a group weighing 14.1 pounds. Jones Processing of Hartford, Ohio, purchased the basket of rabbits for $30 per pound.
Aubrey Braham of Grove City showed the grand champion market goat, weighing 89 pounds. Pymatuning Deer Park of Jamestown purchased the goat for $8.20 per pound.
Chance Rains of Mercer showed the reserve grand champion market goat, weighing 91 pounds. Imperial Systems of Jackson Center purchased the goat for $12.75 per pound.
Cassidy Gadsby of Fredonia showed the grand champion market lamb, weighing 120 pounds, which was purchased by D.J.’s Smokehouse and Howard & Son Meat Packing for $8 per pound.
Taylor McKean of Stoneboro showed the reserve grand champion market lamb, weighing 130 pounds, which was purchased by McCullough Corn Maze of Mercer for $7 per pound.
Lauren Steele of Mercer produced the grand champion carcass lamb, weighing 60 pounds, which was purchased by Struthers Farms, Remax Realty and Newton Financial for $12 per pound.
Ellen Blair Steele of Mercer produced the reserve grand champion carcass lamb, weighing 60 pounds, which was purchased by Fairview Swiss Cheese of Fredonia for $21 per pound.
Courtnie Roberts showed the grand champion market beef, a Charlois cross weighing 1,338 pounds that was purchased by Edwards Farms of Mercer for $3.50 per pound.
Ethan Kasbee of Fredonia showed his Angus cross, weighing 1,320 pounds, which was named the reserve grand champion market beef. Tomeo Farms Wells Cargo, Tomeo Farms Husqvarna Sales and Service, and Tomeo Farms Formula Champion purchased the animal for $2.50 per pound.