By: Aarika Copeland | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: September 2023
The Rogers County Fair is a highlight for many Claremore denizens but for those taking part in the FFA and 4-H Youth Livestock Premium Sale, the annual event highlights more than carnival games or rides. The Premium Sale celebrates the culmination of months of dedication put forth by both the Rogers County FFA and 4-H youth participants. “Some of these kids have projects that extend six months to a year,” said Susan Gebhart, President of Rogers County Premium Auction Committee. “We want to create a sale and an opportunity worthy of the work those kids have done.”
Participants who compete in the Livestock competition will test their exhibitor skills and education with their animals, ranging in a variety of species: beef, swine, sheep, goats, and dairy. In addition, the showmanship contest which includes horses winners in the senior division, “a typically tough competition,” Gebhart said, receive a 4-year scholarship to Rogers State University, with 6 division winners each year. “It is a real significant achievement for those kids.”
The auction promises not only a showcase of the youngsters’ hard work and livestock skills but also a chance for the public to contribute to their future endeavors. The proceeds from the auction sales will be directed towards funding new agriculture projects or being funneled into the winners’ educational savings accounts. “It appears to be a traditional auction, but the animal doesn’t change hands. The monetary prizes are used to fund new projects or put in the student’s educational fund,” Gebhart explained. “Besides the sale, individuals in the community have the chance to help further by contributing to students in the auction through our add-on donations.” Add-on donations can be made during the live auction or on the Rogers County Fair website in any amount.
Members of the public attending the auction won’t want to miss Meet the Students. The event takes place before the auction and offers the unique opportunity to visit with the 89 premium sale qualifying exhibitors as they showcase their animals. “All those kids will be in an indoor, air-conditioned space, with their animals, where people can walk through and meet the kids and experience the sale,” said Gebhart. “We certainly invite the public to support these individuals.”
The commitment to agricultural education and the development of life and work ethic skills these kids display deserves recognition and support. “It has become important in today’s world for people to trust where their animal protein products come from, and there is nowhere better for students to learn how to do that correctly and with good animal husbandry and animal science practices behind it than by starting in 4-H and FFA,” said Gebhart. “It’s a lot of hard work on the kids’ part, and we want to offer both the experience and educational opportunity but also to encourage excellence.”
After buying your funnel cake and winning that stuffed animal, support your local FFA and 4-H youth during the Rogers County Youth Livestock Premium Sale! The sale begins Monday, Sept.18, at the Claremore Expo Center. For more information, visit the Rogers County Fair website or check out their FB event page.
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