I covered the junior fair livestock sale at the Columbiana County Fair this past weekend. Besides reminding me that summer will be over in about a month, it also made me think about why the sales are so important to those youngsters and the work they put into it. I just wanted to share with you some things I observed during the sale.

• The smiles on the majority of the children when they were in the pen with their animals. Whether they were selling rabbits or hogs, those youth had the biggest smiles. They were proud of their livestock (and they should be) but most of all they were proud to show them off!

• The hugs and thank-you handshakes they gave to their buyers. Some say money doesn’t buy happiness and I don’t think it does but… those kids were happy when they got done!

• The frantic parents before the sales. You could see the parents disappear into the barns in between animal sales making sure their children had everything they needed and no major disasters had occurred. They also should be given a round of applause. It is not easy to have a child or children showing at the fair. The parents work just as hard as the children making sure everything is available and even ensuring the children have a thank-you present for their buyers. I know some parents look forward to the week after the fair just as much as the youth look forward to the week of the fair.

• And lastly, the buyers. Without the buyers, there would be no livestock sale and the hard work of these youth would not be noticed. You also need to be commended especially on days like Saturday (no matter what county you are in, Columbiana, Medina, Ashtabula, Portage or Carroll) when it is so hot and the sweat just shoots out of you. I know everyone thought the rain would be a good thing on Saturday and yet it got even muggier, in my opinion! You, the buyers, need to be given your own round of applause for suffering it out and staying to purchase the livestock. I know every 4-H’er with a market project thanks you for dealing with the heat and humidity so that they can be successful!

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses with her husband, Kurt. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism.
Kristy Foster Seachrist
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