Interested in helping children ages 8-19?
One way would be by supporting county-wide 4-H and FFA youth who work hard raising animals for the Klickitat County Fair. The annual fair livestock auction is held on Saturday, Aug. 24. There is a buyer’s barbecue before the action that runs from 4 to 7 p.m.
Why do the kids do it - for the love of the stock show life.
These children wake up early every day and care for an animal that depends on them to feed, care, vet, groom and exercise them. By caring for an animal, the youth learn many life skills. They can’t wake up and start watching TV; they have an animal outside that depends on them to survive.
The children also learn patience; working with animals each day is like rolling the dice, some days they are willing and other days the animal isn’t.
4-H and FFA kids also learn to manage their finances. They keep records on feed, travel and equipment costs, and calculate rate of gain to measure how much feed their animal needs. These records need to be turned in at fair time in order to show and sell an animal.
The youth involved in FFA and 4-H raise steers, pig, lambs, goats, chickens, turkeys and even rabbits. The bigger the animal, the more money it costs to raise them.
Not only do these children and their families love the stock show life, they truly enjoy raising their animals for fair. They love the competition to show their skills to their community and show off the animal they have raised.
When auction day comes at Klickitat County Fair, it’s bittersweet. The year of raising the animals has come to an end and they have to say goodbye. Older children understand this process, but you will often see the younger ones in tears.