The New Hampshire 4-H Livestock Auction is held annually in September at the Hopkinton State Fair. This year’s show and auction will take place on Monday, September 2nd. Beef, swine, goat and lamb are raised by 4-Her’s, shown and then sold by live weight at auction.
The work starts much earlier in the year for 4-H Livestock Auction participants. 4-Hers invest a lot of time and money into raising a healthy market animal, maintaining accurate records and recruiting buyers for the final sale. 4-Hers are expected to complete all of the necessary tasks that a full-scale farm would to produce a quality product and turn a profit. We caught up with some of this year’s participants for a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into a successful 4-H Livestock Auction project and to learn more about what we can expect in September.
What’s your name and what clubs are you in?
My name is Logan Courtright. I am from Lee, NH and I am 11 years old. I'm in the Merrimack County Swine club. We just moved up here two years ago, so I have only been in the club for a year. I grew up on a farm, and pigs are my favorite animal. I have Yorkshire pigs.
Is this your first year with the Livestock Auction?
I did it last year and it was fun and a good learning experience. Last year I put four animals in the auction. Two goats and two pigs.
What would you like potential buyers to know about your animals?
I'd tell them that our animals are fed quality grain. No slop. They are healthy and happy animals.
What did you do with the money from last year’s sale?
I put the money from the sales last year into my project animals this year. I will use it for grain and supplies.
What did you learn in your first year?
Getting my pigs up to weight was a challenge, managing their diet and making sure they are heavy enough. They weren't gaining enough so we switched their diet. We weigh them at intervals and track it so we can make changes if we have to. Last year was my first year raising meat goats. It was really good.
What would you say to someone interested in joining the 4-H Livestock program?
I would say I'm also in 4-H and I think we should expand and it would be fun to have you as a friend in 4-H. It's a good learning experience and its fun to hang out. I'm very excited for this year.