Each year members of the Tuscola County 4-H Club gather at the Tuscola County Fair to show off and sell the livestock they have been caring for the past year.
And although the COVID-19 pandemic canceled this year’s fair, the 4-H’ers next week will have the opportunity to show off their animals.
Normally one of the fair’s highlights, and running each day of the week-long event, the 4-H auctions will be done online this year.
The fair was scheduled to run this week, July 25 through Aug. 1.
Katie Cooper, the 4-H Coordinator for Michigan State University’s Tuscola County Extension office, which governs the county’s 4-H program, said her team put in a lot of work to make the online auctions possible.
“It’s been a team-effort,” Cooper said. “A lot of the 4-H volunteers are superintendents for the fair, and they helped a lot in figuring out what direction we were going to take. It’s been a big undertaking.
“But the fair was canceled early enough that it did give us time to plan, but it’s a brave new world when you’re trying to move things to virtual.”
The auction is split in two, with large animals being auctioned on one website, and small animals on another.
Small animals – rabbits, chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, etc. – will be available at the Albrecht Auctions website, at bidnow.us. The small-animal auction will begin Sunday and end Friday.
Large animals – cows, pigs, goats, etc. – will be on sale at breedersworld.com Thursday from noon to 8 p.m.
For a link to each website, check out this story on The Advertiser website – tuscolatoday.com – or The Advertiser’s Facebook page.
A change in the large-animal auction is that this year each 4-H member will only be able to sell one animal in conjunction with MSU Extension. During the fair, each member can sell up to three large animals.
Cooper said most 4-H members are participating in the auction, although some have decided to market the farm animals on their own. The fair was canceled early enough (early May) to allow 4-H organizers and members to make alternate plans. But many 4-H’ers had already purchased animals and had put a lot of work into them by that point.
“We wanted to give them a platform to be able to exhibit those animals so they didn’t feel like it was a total waste, and also give them an option to sell (the animals),” Cooper said.
For more information, go to the Tuscola County 4-H Facebook page or call MSU Extension at 989-672-3870.
John Schneider is editor of The Advertiser. He can be reached at email@example.com.