Small animals bring in big bucks

Published 8:42 am Monday, July 15, 2013

ROME TOWNSHIP — As the bids rose from $1,000 to $1,100 to $1,200 for the white chicken, the young woman who stood at the center of it all began to get overwhelmed, tears filling her eyes.

By the time the price has risen to $1,800, the tears started to fall down her cheeks.

After all was said and done Friday night, the little chicken sold for $2,000, a high price for such a small fowl, but a grand champion nonetheless.

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“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Skye Barnett said, owner of that chicken.

For the 17-year-old from Kitts Hill, the money raised from the auction meant a lot. It is tuition money for the year at Marshall University.

“That finishes off my payments for the year, so that means a lot,” Barnett said.

Barnett said she was grateful for all the money she has received in past years for her 4-H projects, but was surprised by the outpouring of support this year.

“I’d just like to thank them so much,” she said, even those who simply bid but didn’t win.

Winning bidders for Barnett’s chicken were Lawrence County Commissioner Freddie Hayes; Guy’s Floor Covering; and Ironton Attorney Randall Lambert, Attorney at Law.

Hailee Haas, 17, of Ironton, brought in $1,100 for her reserve champion chicken.

The Farm Hands 4-Her said she was also surprised at the generosity of the bidders.

“I really was because it wasn’t an election year or anything,” Haas said.

Haas said she would also save her money for college.

Quality Care Nursing bought Haas’ chicken.

Also up for auction at the small animal auction were rabbits.

Cody Landrum, 15, with the Greasy Ridge Gang, put his grand champion up on the auction block and brought in an impressive $1,400.

Landrum said he was happy with the sale and said he would put most of the money in savings.

Winning bidders were Larry Kirkpatrick and family; Worley Machine and Fabricating; Hayes, Lawrence County Clerk of Courts Mike Patterson and family; Guy’s Floor Covering; Lawrence County Engineer Doug Cade; Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless; Lawrence County Auditor Jason Stephens; and Lambert Law Office.

Brianna Dickess, 17, another Greasy Ridge Gang member, sold her reserve champion rabbit for $900 to Cooke’s Farm Center and Lawrence County Treasurer Stephen Burcham.

Next year will be Dickess’ last in 4-H and she said she will push for a grand champion animal.

“It’s my last year,” she said. “I got to go for first.”

The only non-animal item up for auction at the fair was tobacco.

Alec Herrell, 17, with the Gingham and Denim Club, sold his grand champion prize tobacco for $1,800.

Herrell said he was glad to have gotten the money, and will put it towards college expenses at Marshall University in the fall.

Buyers were R and D Giovanni’s Pizza and Carryout; Stephens and Sons; and Silver Star Exxon.

Carl Skeens, 17, of the Country Clan 4-H Club, sold his reserve champion prize tobacco for $700.

Skeens said farming tobacco is hard work and he has been doing it as long as he can remember.

Buyer were Cooke’s Farm Center; Marshall’s Auction Service; and Burcham.