Wyoming Fair Bids It Up for the Kids

9/7/2013 7:00 AM
By Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade Special Sections Editor

MESHOPPEN, Pa. — “It’s only money. It’s for the kids. One more time, try it again” were just a few of the phrases a team of auctioneers used to encourage bidders on Labor Day at the Kiwanis Wyoming County Fair.

The sale marks the end of another project year for the Wyoming County 4-H’ers, who find out from the bidding whether their projects will be financial successes.

Auctioneers Jerry Burke, Patrick Burke, Bob Earl, Dan Naylor, Wayne Weaver, Ken Rivenburg, Ronnie Sands, Barry Sands, Dick Sands, Ed Pepper and Gary Bell donate their time to the sale.

“Let’s do the best we can for these kids,” Jerry Burke said as he introduced the auctioneers for the day, who traded off between running the sale and serving as ring men taking bids.

Dan Naylor has been helping with the livestock sale since its inception with a 4-H market lamb sale in the early days of the fair revival in the late 1980s. He said he enjoys returning year after year.

“It’s always exciting because you are raising money for the children. They have worked so hard on their projects,” he said.

Naylor is also the regional director for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and has attended many fair livestock sales in the region.

“The market has been strong most everywhere I have gone,” he said. “People continue to help out.”

There is a strong component of support from the local businesses, he said. And for fairs in the Marcellus Shale region, the gas companies have been active bidders at some of the fair sales.

“We try to work at the highest increment we can and work our way down,” Rivenburg said about trying to get the best price for the youths. “The ringmen, the other auctioneers do their part, too. That’s the key.”

Auctioneer Ronnie Sands said it’s all about reading the audience to get the best price, but not drag out the sale.

“You learn that in school and tell by people’s facial expressions,” he said.

Sands has been auctioneering since 2010. He also believes the kids sell themselves.

“You are getting quality meat. You are buying farm-raised animals that have been well-cared for,” he said.

Rivenburg said working an auction like this does have a different feel because he does not have to do all of the calling.

For example, a typical job for him could include 500 lots to sell and he’s calling the whole sale. Here, he is sharing the load with other auctioneers.

“You never get tired, that’s for sure,” he said.

Naylor said it’s also fun to interact with the youngsters, seeing their faces when they receive a good price for their animals. He also marveled that the youngsters are so honest when talking about their livestock projects.

For example, Naylor said he asked one young girl if her hog was “a good hog,” and the girl responded by saying, no, it was a really miserable hog to work with.

In the market lamb show, first-year 4-H’er Zoe Ostrowsky sold her 144-pound grand champion market lamb for $6.50 per pound to Sherwood Chevrolet. Charlie Stretch’s 158-pound market lamb sold for $6.50 to Meshoppen Stone.

Haley Hemmerly sold the homebred and reserve homebred champion lambs. All-County Livestock Buying Station purchased her 102-pound champion for $5.25 per pound. Meshoppen Stone purchased her 112-pound reserve champion for $3.75.

Tyler Peterson with his 122-pound grand champion market goat, Phil, led off the goat show. It was purchased for $6.75 a pound by Harding’s Dairy Bar. Meshoppen Stone purchased Ian Hemann’s 100-pound reserve champion market goat named “Tank” for $3.50 per pound.

Hemann’s 88-pound champion homebred goat was purchased by Sheldon’s Funeral Homes for $4 per pound. Rounding out the champion goats was the 97-pound reserve champion homebred goat exhibited by Will Phinney. Gay’s True Value purchased it for $5.50 per pound.

Elizabeth Trowbridge collected both the grand champion and homebred champion banners for her 1,213-pound steer. It was sold to Taurus Service Inc. for $3.75 per pound. Noah Ostrowsky sold the 1,332 pound reserve grand champion steer for $3 per pound. People’s Neighborhood Bank purchased Dakota Quick’s 1,222-pound reserve homebred steer for $3.25 per pound.

In the market hog show, Brett Peterson wrapped up her 4-H career by selling the grand and homebred champion market hog named Robin to Taurus Service Inc. for $5.75 per pound. The hog weighed in at 258 pounds.

Hemann returned to the champion circle with the reserve grand champion market hog. Meshoppen Wood Products purchased the 260-pound hog for $4.50 per pound.

Completing the sale of champions was Tyler Peterson with his reserve homebred hog. Peterson’s 266-pound hog sold for $3.75 per pound to Milnes Co.

Before the start of the sale, the livestock committee announced their scholarship winners. They were Brianna Smarkusky of Nicholson and Brett Peterson of Tunkhannock.

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