ELLICOTTVILLE — With the cancellation of the Cattaraugus County County Fair due to coronavirus concerns, the 4-H Market Animal Auction went online this past weekend.
The auction, run by Peterson Auctions, Frewsburg, netted 44 participating 4-H youths $46,325, according to Abby Luzier, the 4-H youth educator, who shepherded the online effort.
There were 72 cows, goats, pigs, sheep, turkey, chickens and rabbits on the virtual auction block. The auction opened online at 6 p.m. Friday and closed at 6 p.m. Saturday.
“I think it went well,” said Luzier. “The prices were about average. Overall, it was a different kind of experience for a lot of people. One thing is that a lot of new people registered.”
Luzier said that in the closing minutes of bidding Saturday night, there was a flurry of activity by bidders. “You could see bids starting to come in.”
“I’m hoping we can do it in person next year,” Luzier said. “I was grateful for the support from the community for these farm families.”
Eric Clayson, chairman of the 4-H Livestock Committee, which oversees the annual market animal auction, said, “It’s nothing like being at the fair. There’s not 300 people around watching and bidding. I’m hoping next year...
“I wish we could have done better, but we had a lot of new buyers,” Clayson added. “Hopefully, they’ll be back next year and we can do it in person.
He said, “The kids did all right. They got average prices, but they didn’t see people or their friends at the fair.”
According to Luzier, the breakdown by species follows:
• Three dairy steers, $6,800; average $2,266.
• Three goats, $675; average $225.
• Five beef steers, $13,150; average $2,630.
• Eight lambs, $2,950; average $368.75.
• 11 turkeys, $1,475; average, $139.04.
• 18 pairs of chickens, $3,625; average $201.39.
• 24 hogs, $17,650; average $735.42.