4-H evaluates county fairLivestock auction brings in $260,664
The 2013 Washington County Fair has been over for about a month, which gave staff and volunteers some time to look back and see where they can make improvements for the 2014 fair.
When Washington County 4-H/Youth coordinator Amy Green opened the meeting, she said that a fair evaluation meeting is not required by the 4-H program or any other group. Washington County 4-H holds the evaluation yearly to improve the fair and find solutions to problems that come up. However, no decisions are made at the evaluation meeting.
Evaluation forms were sent to 4-H families, 4-H volunteers and fair board members. Their responses were compiled and printed on a handout for everyone present. The handout was for discussion purposes.
Information about youth projects and result of the auction were also included in the handout. A total of 1,158 animals were shown at the fair, with swine entries topping out at 259. Market beef came in second with 158 head. The number of sheep entries totaled 149; horse and pony, 125; goats, 112; rabbits, 105; poultry, 68; beef heifer/cows, 66; dogs, 62; bottle calf, 37; dairy, 12; and five pets.
The number of entries was down from 2012’s total of 1,239.
Non-livestock projects totaled 1,040, with photography far outpacing other types of projects with 573 entries. In addition, there were 20 exhibitors in the clothing event, 7 in extemporaneous speaking, 50 in educational presentations, and 11 in working exhibits.
The grand total of all entries was 2,286.
The number of non-livestock projects that move on to the Iowa State Fair is based on the number of 4-H’ers in the county. This year, 59 projects went to the state fair. In addition, 22 communications exhibitors went to the state fair and 74 livestock exhibitors. Washington County ranks third in the state in enrollment.
A total of 283 animals were sold for a total of $260,664.12 at the 2013 Livestock Auction. The meatiest total came from the other beef category, totaling $185,741.80 for 96 head. Twenty-eight champion beef were sold and that totaled $54,065.17. Sheep totaled $7,422.15 with 40 head; swine, $7,325.00 with 22 head; goats, $3,410.00 with 23 head; poultry, with $1,880 with 55 head; and rabbits, $820, with 19 head.
Gale Whitacre, superintendent of the Horse & Pony Show, talked about adding a new class to the show for miniature horses. He said the horses run free for 90 seconds without a halter and then the handler has two minutes to place the halter back on the horse. He said it is very entertaining to watch.
There was a suggestion to add a new class to the Beef Show to promote participation for 4-H’ers just starting out. A few volunteers agreed to help with this.
The Swine Show drew comments about marking hogs that are sold to a meat packer at the end of the fair and the system for determining how the swine barn pens are assigned.
The number of goats being shown at the fair continues to rise, but the amount of barn space has not increased.
People who completed the evaluation form had the opportunity to comment on just about every aspect of the fair.