Cattaraugus County 4-H Market Animal Auction is going online

A Cattaraugus County 4-H member displays her hog at the Cattaraugus County Fair in 2019. Due to coronavirus this year’s 4-H Market Class Animal Auction will be online.

ELLICOTTVILLE — The Cattaraugus County 4-H Market Animal Auction will go on next month despite the cancelation of this year’s County Fair due to coronavirus concerns.

Members of the board of directors of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cattaraugus County were determined to give 4-H members who spent the year raising their market class animals an opportunity to auction them.

Abby Luzier, 4-H youth development educator, said the idea of an online auction was part of a backup plan even before the 2020 Cattaraugus County Fair was canceled last month by the Cattaraugus County Agricultural Society.

Peterson Auctions of Frewsburg will host the online auction from 6 p.m. Aug. 7 to 6 p.m. Aug. 8.

“We had a backup plan,” Luzier said Thursday. “When the fair was canceled it was decided to stage an online auction.” Photos of the animals along with a bio of their owners will be included.

Peterson Auctions is no stranger to the Cattaraugus County Fair’s 4-H Market Animal Auction. They have volunteered in the past to help at the auction.

Photos and video of the animals and their owners will be posted on Peterson Auctions website, Luzier said. People will be able to see the bids for each animal and post their own bids.

Payment will not be online, but will be billed by invoice mailed to winning bidders, Luzier said. Winning bidders can pay by check by mail or bring cash or check to Cooperative Extension’s Ellicottville offices after getting the invoice.

There are 55 kids signed up for the online auction who will have 88 animals. The photos and listings will be posted on the Peterson Auctions website.

“It’s down significantly over last year when we had 140 kids and 220 animals,” Luzier said. “It’s not unexpected.”

Some of the factors for the downturn is that some families want to keep the animals for breeding or want to fill their own freezer, she explained.

Another 35 4-H members have decided to sell their animals at private sales.

“We’re encouraging the kids to go out and find potential buyers to register as a bidder for the sale with Peterson Auctions,” Luzier said.

To register as a buyer, go online to

“As we near our auction date, the platform will be updated regularly with photos and videos of each exhibitor and their market projects up for bid,” Luzier said.

“We hope to make it a good year for the kids,” Luzier said. “It’s not ideal, but we are going to all work together to make the best of it. This is the new normal.”

County 4-H officials are planning to showcase other 4-H members’ projects they had planned to exhibit at the County Fair.

Photos and videos will be posted on the Cooperative Extension Facebook page and on its website.

WHEN: Bidding opens at 6 pm on Friday, August 7th and closes at 6 pm on Saturday, August 8th TO BECOME A BIDDER: Head to register as a bidder. As we near our auction date, the platform will be updated regularly with photos and videos of each exhibitor and their market projects up for bid. “Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.”

For more information contact Luzier at 699-2377 ext. 130 or email

The Olean Times Herald is also making plans to showcase photos, videos and stories of 4-Hers projects they had hoped to show at the County Fair.

(Contact reporter Rick Miller at Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)