The Clallam County Junior Livestock Auction’s 30th year was a successful one, organizers said.
“It was excellent,” said the auction president Nicole Murray. “Every year, I’m overwhelmed by the community support.”
Below the Sequim Pumpkin Patch’s pumpkin-topped tower, children ages 5-18 from Sequim and Port Angeles showed their various animals on Aug. 7 for a chance to auction off their animals to help with future agricultural projects, schooling, and/or something fun.
They auctioned off goats, hogs, rabbits, turkeys and more.
Before 17-year-old Bailey Geniesse of Sequim auctioned off her steer Big Red, she said it was great to be at the event.
“It’s something special to be out there and have people flying cards (to bid) and to know you raised a good animal,” she said.
As a group of 50, the youths earned about $67,000 total with add-on — donations made to the children — not counted yet, Murray said.
“I’m very proud of that number; the whole group is,” she said. “The money all goes back to the kids with very little (of what the group takes in from raffles and other fundraisers) going to the nonprofit.”
Keri Tucker, the oldest participant at 18, graduated from Sequim High School in June and auctioned off a lamb for the first time at $6.25 a pound.
Tucker, president of the Sequim FFA, said she wanted to try something new after raising hogs for years. She said the auction offers any child an opportunity to learn “a lot of responsibility and how to manage yourself and animals; and it’s a lot of hard work.”
Tucker said she plans to apply to become a Costco meat cutter and use any earnings from the auction towards certification/schooling she needs.
This was the second year organizers held the auction at the Pumpkin Patch following the closure of the Clallam County Fair due to COVID-19.
Murray said there hasn’t been much attrition, with about two-thirds of participants auctioning off animals this year compared to 2019. Each participant is only allowed to show one species.
Rather than borrowing animal pens, organizers were able to build their own this year thanks to multiple donors helping support the build, she said.
“It took four days to set up the village and we had it cleaned up by noon on Sunday,” Murray said.
Murray said they’re tentatively considering the event’s location for its 31st year and they aren’t planning to return to the fair because of the flexibility organizers have found.
Murray said they are looking to do more agriculture education opportunities in the near future and possibly a spring event to offer children the chance to practice and gain experience showing their animals.
The Clallam County Junior Livestock Auction is a nonprofit organization available to children in Clallam and Jefferson counties ages 5-18, and/or not graduated from high school.