Livestock auction: A lot to like


By J Swygart - jswygart@limanews.com



Darrin German, representing the Fort Jennings Showmen 4-H club, was on hand Thursday at the Putnam County Fair livestock auction to bid on animals shown by club members.

Darrin German, representing the Fort Jennings Showmen 4-H club, was on hand Thursday at the Putnam County Fair livestock auction to bid on animals shown by club members.


J Swygart | The Lima News

Hanna Schroeder uses a vaccuum cleaner to get her grand champion market beef steer ready for auction Thursday at the Putnam County Fair.

Hanna Schroeder uses a vaccuum cleaner to get her grand champion market beef steer ready for auction Thursday at the Putnam County Fair.


J Swygart | The Lima News

Hanna Schroeder, a member of the Columbus Grove Livestock 4-H club, had the grand champion market beef steer at this year’s Putnam County Fair.


J Swygart | The Lima News

Jordan Schumaker, a member of the O-G High Risers 4-H club, enters the auction arena with his grand champion market goat during Thursday’s Junior Fair livestock auction at the Putnam County Fair. Schumaker’s goat sold for $2,000.


J Swygart | The Lima News

Jordan Schumaker poses with his goat, Flash, before entering the auction ring Thursday at the Putnam County Fair.


J Swygart | The Lima News

Bidders competed with each other to bring the top dollar to Junior Fair livestock exhibitors at the Putnam County Fair on Thursday.


J Swygart | The Lima News

OTTAWA — Twelve months removed from a slimmed-down event caused by a nationwide pandemic, the Putnam County Junior Fair livestock auction on Thursday was everything veteran fair-goers have come to expect … and maybe more.

Last year’s fair was different than all others before it in myriad ways. The popular livestock auction in 2020 was for the first time held in a single day (in previous years it had been spread out over two days) with only exhibitors, minus their animals, entering the show ring.

Jason Hedrick, the veteran Ohio State University 4-H educator in Putnam County, said there was a lot to like about the single-day format for exhibitors and buyers alike. Some of the changes forced by the pandemic were incorporated this year. The auction began at 8:30 a.m. and continued throughout most of the day Thursday.

“It makes for a long day, but it’s a little easier on the buyers to only have to come out once,” Hedrick said.

While there were concerns that the pandemic could have a lasting, negative effect on 4-H participation, Hedrick said those fears proved unfounded.

“Our enrollment in the 4-H program is right around 850 kids, the same as it’s been for years. That hasn’t changed. But the number of overall projects is up and the (livestock) barns are at capacity, which is awesome,” Hedrick said.

“The kids came back with a passion and with a lot of excitement.”

One of those was Jordan Schumaker. A member of the O-G High Risers 4-H club, Schumaker showed a market goat at the fair in 2019 — his first year as a Junior Fair participant — but sat out last year when COVID-19 gripped the region.

His return to 4-H proved successful when his Boer goat, Flash, walked off with grand champion honors in the market goat competition earlier this week.

Jordan, the son of Brad Schumaker, said he “learned a lot” during his initial venture into the 4-H program. Despite a busy schedule that includes playing baseball for two different teams and assorted school activities, the shy Junior Fair participant said getting Flash — so named because of a stripe running down his head — ready for the fair was an enjoyable experience.

When bidders ran the final sale price for the animal up to $2,000 it became even more fun.

Asked what he would do with the money, Schumaker just shrugged his shoulders. Perhaps use the cash to buy another goat for next year’s fair?

“Maybe,” he said softly.

At the other end of the spectrum is Hanna Schroeder, a seven-year member of the Columbus Grove Livestock 4-H club. Her family, starting with an older brother, has shown steers at the fair for many years but had never captured the elusive grand champion banner.

Until this year.

Breaking what Schroeder laughingly called the “curse of third-place finishes,” Hanna’s steer was crowned grand champion market beef earlier this week.

“It’s very rewarding,” said the daughter of Mike and Wendy Schroeder. “There are a lot of things you miss out on when you have an animal to take care of, but I wouldn’t trade it for this.”

Bidders took their seats in the show ring Thursday morning as the auction got underway. Representing largely the agri-business community and local lending institutions, bidders looked to get the best bang for their buck while at the same time generously rewarding the youth of their community for a year of hard work.

One bidder, however, didn’t mind losing out on a few top bids. Darrin German was representing the Fort Jennings Showmen 4-H club, using money raised at club fundraisers to purchase livestock shown by club members.

“We’ve got about 65 members and we just try to support all our own kids,” German said. “They work hard and put in a lot of hours on their projects. If we get out-bid today, that just means more money for our kids.”

Darrin German, representing the Fort Jennings Showmen 4-H club, was on hand Thursday at the Putnam County Fair livestock auction to bid on animals shown by club members.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/06/web1_Bidder-Darrin-German.jpgDarrin German, representing the Fort Jennings Showmen 4-H club, was on hand Thursday at the Putnam County Fair livestock auction to bid on animals shown by club members. J Swygart | The Lima News
Hanna Schroeder uses a vaccuum cleaner to get her grand champion market beef steer ready for auction Thursday at the Putnam County Fair.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/06/web1_Hanna-in-the-barn-with-steer.jpgHanna Schroeder uses a vaccuum cleaner to get her grand champion market beef steer ready for auction Thursday at the Putnam County Fair. J Swygart | The Lima News
Hanna Schroeder, a member of the Columbus Grove Livestock 4-H club, had the grand champion market beef steer at this year’s Putnam County Fair.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/06/web1_Hanna-Schroeder-grand-champ-market-beef.jpgHanna Schroeder, a member of the Columbus Grove Livestock 4-H club, had the grand champion market beef steer at this year’s Putnam County Fair. J Swygart | The Lima News
Jordan Schumaker, a member of the O-G High Risers 4-H club, enters the auction arena with his grand champion market goat during Thursday’s Junior Fair livestock auction at the Putnam County Fair. Schumaker’s goat sold for $2,000.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/06/web1_Jordan-entering-ring-with-goat.jpgJordan Schumaker, a member of the O-G High Risers 4-H club, enters the auction arena with his grand champion market goat during Thursday’s Junior Fair livestock auction at the Putnam County Fair. Schumaker’s goat sold for $2,000. J Swygart | The Lima News
Jordan Schumaker poses with his goat, Flash, before entering the auction ring Thursday at the Putnam County Fair.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/06/web1_Jordan-Schumaker-in-barn.jpgJordan Schumaker poses with his goat, Flash, before entering the auction ring Thursday at the Putnam County Fair. J Swygart | The Lima News
Bidders competed with each other to bring the top dollar to Junior Fair livestock exhibitors at the Putnam County Fair on Thursday.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/06/web1_Livestock-bidders.jpgBidders competed with each other to bring the top dollar to Junior Fair livestock exhibitors at the Putnam County Fair on Thursday. J Swygart | The Lima News

By J Swygart

jswygart@limanews.com

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