The county fair is an annual summer tradition for many Iowa families. The livestock shows are the culmination of months of work by the young exhibitors as they cared for and prepared their livestock exhibits. At the Washington County Fair, the 4-H & FFA Livestock Auction is the last event of the fair for those youth and their animals. This auction will begin at 8:30 a.m. on July 21 in the main show ring.
The livestock auction in Washington County offers livestock projects for sale to the general public. The auctions are a great opportunity to make an investment in the education of the next generation of farmers and to make a difference in the life of a young person.
Chef Kelly Liken is the executive chef and owner of Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail, Colorado; she was also a contestant on “Top Chef” Season 7. She gives some great reasons to buy from a 4-H member.
- When you buy 4-H, it aids in supporting efforts to use the whole animal. “There are only a few portions of each cut, so it forces our team to come up with new dishes as we sell each of the cuts. It has been the catalyst for many new, very tasty dishes. When you buy a whole animal you have a responsibility to it, to use as much of it as you can. This is a responsibility that we do not take lightly.”
- 4-H animals are some of the best quality in the nation. “There is a noticeable difference when animals are raised with love on healthy food and come from strong local blood lines. The flavors are full and haven’t lost their edge – and they are cared for by individuals who put care and time into the entire process of raising the animal.”
- 4-H supports the education of local children. “The lessons local kids learn by raising animals is absolutely invaluable. They learn how much time money and energy it takes to raise an animal. These are lessons that can only be learned by direct experience. Most importantly, all the money raised by the sale goes into the child’s individual education fund.”
- Knowing where your food comes from is not only very important but it teaches a life-long lesson to children, while shaping their future decisions with regards to food, cooking, and nutrition. “Making choices about what we put into our bodies and choose to serve to our guests can be complicated. The impact of those choices is far-reaching.”
- It’s fun! “Going to the 4-H auction is one of my favorite things to do. The county fair atmosphere offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Being able to choose an animal by looking at it, by watching it move and identifying muscle tone is a far cry from picking a product from a purveyor’s price list.”
All Washington County businesses and individuals are welcome to the 2022 livestock auction. Livestock will be led in the ring by the 4-H owner in this order; sheep, goats, rabbits, poultry and cattle. Auction orders will be available at 7 a.m. on July 21 at the Washington County Fairgrounds County Council Pavilion. Please contact the Extension Office, 319-653-4811, with questions.