MONTCALM TOWNSHIP — This year’s Montcalm County 4-H Fair livestock auction was a huge success, ringing in more than $21,000 than last year.
Thursday night’s auction totaled about $216,495.20, which is $21,327.09 more than last year’s auction. A total of 380 animals were sold, weighing a total of 81,962.5 pounds.
“You are bidding on the future of this country and these kids,” said auctioneer Doyle Dingman as the auction was starting.
The biggest supporter at Thursday’s event was was Meijer of Greenville, which purchased 20 animals. Fillmore Equipment of Kent City bought the second most amount of animals at 14.
“I think we had a few more buyers and the prices were a little better this year,” said Doug Uzelac, livestock community president.
Uzelac said there were a couple of prices that surprised him during the auction, including some of the swine going for $15 to $16 a pound.
One pig, owned by 4-H’er Ellie Nielsen of the Winfield Hustlers, weighed 227 pounds. It was purchased by Joe Voelker of Voelker Implement Sales in Big Rapids for $15 per pound.
New this year to the auction, Uzelac said, were new auctioneers Dingman and Loren Heller.
“I think they did really well,” Uzelac said.
The livestock auction was the first for London Eldridge, 10, of Stanton. She is a member of the North Central 4-H Club. It was Eldridge’s first ever year as a member of 4-H where she has been raising her grand champion dairy cow Baxter since December.
“It was fun,” Eldridge said of the auction. “It went good.”
Baxter, who weighed 556 pounds, was sold to Harvey’s Agricultural Solutions of Carson City for $2 per pound.
Eldridge said she plans to stick with 4-H because it’s a “good experience” and because of what she has learned, like how much animals eat.
“My favorite part (of being in 4-H) is getting to play with the animals,” she said.
The livestock auction was also a good night for another North Central 4-H Club member Jacob Homich, 16, of Greenville, who sold his grand champion Sparty at a weight of 1,305 pounds to Meijer for $4.50 per pound.
“The auction was amazing,” Homich said, noting that it beat his expectations.
Homich said after the auction, the buyers will sometimes sell the animals at another auction before being taken to the market. However, he said he planned to buy Sparty back to take him to the market himself.
“I would feel better if I did it,” said Homich, noting that it would be harder to see Sparty load on to a trailer for someone else to do it.
Homich said Thursday was his fourth 4-H auction, and he plans to continue participating in 4-H for as long as he can.
“It’s so hands-on,” he said, adding he loves to see the steps the people and animals take from the start of the program to the end. “It’s amazing.”
Because of the experiences he has had through the program, he would recommend it to everyone.
“It’s a great program,” Homich said. “I think everyone should join.”