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Small-market animals fetch pretty penny

ROME TOWNSHIP - For every 4-H member showing at the fair, the end of the week means one thing — selling or not selling your animal.

For those that do sell, they have to face the crowd of buyers at the Lawrence County Fair and hope for a return on all the money they have put into the animal.

On Friday night, the 4-Hers showed off their rabbits, chickens, tobacco and feeder cattle for the crowd.

Laura Jane Murphy, 4-H extension agent, said the crowd is made up of politicians, business owners, and others.

“Basically, they don’t need the meat or anything, they come out here to support 4-H,” she said. “It recognizes these kids are doing good things and stay out of trouble. This is their way of rewarding them.”

Rabbits are always a popular sale animal, Murphy said, because they are small and easy to raise.

There were only three kids selling tobacco this year, a sharp decline over previous years. Murphy attributes the decline to less demand.

“Plus, the way tobacco is grown anymore, fewer people raising it and those that do, raise it in bigger lots,” she said.

One new addition to the sale this year was feeder steer.

A feeder steer is a steer that is between 300 and 600 pounds and isn’t ready for market yet.

“They were born in January,” Murphy explained. “The people who buy feeder steer usually have a feed lot or is planning to show a steer next year.”

Murphy said raising an animal and then selling it teaches 4-H members to become business people.

Timothy Humphrey was selling his reserve champion chicken. It was his final sale as a 4-H member since this is his last year.

When he was eight years old, he sold a market hog.

“I was kind of attached to it and it was sad when I had to sell it,” he said. However, selling a chicken was a different matter.

“I don’t get near as attached now, I’m a little older and chickens are kind of hard to get attached to,” he said. He took in over $600 for his prize chicken.

He said he learned a lot about business.

“I’ve learned about working with people, managing finances, and being polite in general,” he said. He thinks those skills will help as he enters the construction business.

Small-Market Animal Sale

Rabbit

Grand Champion — Shelby Haas, $1,250, Bought by Guy’s Floor Covering, Scott Bowling, Lambert, McWhorter, Bowling and Morris, Maxim Health Care, and Les Boggs.

Reserve Champion —

Mekalah Davis, $900, bought by Cooke’s Farm Center.

Chicken

Grand Champion — Dakota Barnett, $825, bought by Joe Freeman of Ultimate Healthcare.

Reserve Champion — Timothy Humphrey, $825, Joe Freeman of Quality Health Care Nursing Services.

Tobacco

Grand Champion — Kirt Shipley, $600, bought by Tom Shepherd and Larry Miller of Ohio River Valley Bank.

Reserve Champion — Lane Pinkerman, $450, bought by Lee Cade.

Feeder cattle

First Sale — Evan Herrell, $1.75 per pound, bought by Randy Lambert and Scott Borley.

Second Sale — Uriah Christian, $1.25 per pound, bought by Don Guy.