July 14th, 2018, the Natrona County 4-H and FFA Junior Livestock Sale was held at the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds, Casper.
4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) are organizations for youth to learn. Not just about farming or agriculture, but also to develop as a young entrepreneur, learn leadership and valuable life lessons.
A list of successful people who started their career in 4-H includes former Ford Motor Company CEO, Harold Poling.
The Junior Livestock Sale is a bittersweet event for these youth. Throughout the year they will train, groom and prepare their animals for shows and for this sale.
To sell the animal is great news, it’s a business transaction (hopefully a profitable one) but it is also goodbye.
Ross Sutton, General Manager of Fremont Motor Casper Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram Trucks attended the auction with his wife.
They wandered the stalls back and forth, carefully examining each project. Understanding perfectly how this works Mr. Sutton and his wife also have children who participated in 4-H and FFA.
He said in an earlier interview, “Not only is it valuable for the kids involved but has a great impact on the local economy. It brings businesses in the community together.”
This year they purchased 10 animals in total; 2 steers, 6 pigs, a sheep, and a goat. All of the animals/meat will be donated to local charities in the area.
One of the hogs purchased was from 4-H and FFA member, Kendra Meyer and a steer from Jordyn Renquist.
13-year-old Kendra has participated in 4-H for many years. Based in Evansville, WY, her family raises and produces hogs for market, Kendra grew up around them, however, this is only her 2nd year showing pigs.
The most challenging part of pigs she says is teaching it to walk with the stick.
Twice a week she spends time walking around with the animal and weighing it.
Her favorite part of the process is selling and although her least favorite part is cleaning the pens, she hopes to come back again next year. She will now take the animal to show at State Fair before handing it over.
With the earnings from the sale, Kendra will spend it towards next years Junior livestock sale animals. Kendra also raises goats and rabbits and says the goats are her favorite., “…they are fun!”
She also would like to thank the buyers. Without them, it is not possible for any of this to happen.
In her 7th year in 4-H, she used to show pigs, but Jordyn decided she wanted to do something more challenging this time.
In her first showing steers, she says the biggest challenge is building trust with the animal. “…because once you break the trust, it’s hard to get it back.
Her earnings from this year will go towards paying back equipment purchased and towards next years animals. Next year, Jordyn is going to do a lamb, a steer, and two pigs.
This talented young lady is also on the meats judging team, so if you happen to be at the grocery store at the same time, you might want to see which steak she picks out!
Jordyn is extremely thankful for the experiences she gets to have through 4-H and FFA.
“All the opportunities I get ‘cos most kids don’t have the same opportunity to raise an animal from being very young to market weight.”
Here are some more photos from the day.
Check out last years event here.