FFA kids 2020

Alex Bartolmei with pig, Annie Petersoen with cow and Mackenzie Blosser with sheep.

Forget about the dusty pens, nervous waits and the chilly night air that usually goes with each year’s youth livestock auction at the Healdsburg Future Farmers Country Fair. Maybe there’s something to be said for this all-digital way of life we’ve been forced into these days.

At last year’s 2019 “live” auction, the local 4-H and FFA youth were supported by 150 auction bidders with a total of $474,853 for 178 entries. This year, the auction had to be moved online at ez2bid.com and a total of $420,000 in bids was raised for the entries of steer, swine, goat, lamb, rabbits. That’s not a bad substitute for the real thing.

“We are so grateful for this small town Ag community,” a member of the auction committee posted on Facebook. “The support shown in our online auction was off the charts! We couldn't do it without the support of all of the bidders and buyers who participated. We were able to host a successful online auction, bringing in over $420,000 for the kids and their 4-H Clubs. Wow! We hope we don’t have to do our auction in this fashion again, but way to help us pull it off successfully! Thank you!”

Fair Board president Nick Dunkel had predicted a good show of support by bidders and the community, and he wasn’t disappointed. The fair board waived all entry fees and covered all other auction, shipping and meat processing costs so the youth participants would garner a little extra money. Photographed and video entries were posted May 22, the original date of this year’s canceled Twilight Parade and final bids were sealed Saturday, May 23. Along with the direct bids for the animals, the youth and fair received many added donations. Major auction sponsors included Exchange Bank, city of Healdsburg, Comcast and American Ag Credit.

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