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Meat auction brings in nearly $20K for 4-Hers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 August 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

KNOWLESVILLE – Buyers were out in force on Saturday evening, paying well above the market price for animals raised by 4-H’ers.

Jayden Neal, 12, of Albion is pictured with a pig that received the highest bid of seven swine. Bentley Brothers in Albion paid $6.75 per pound for the 264-pound pig or $1,782. Andy Beach, left, and Zach Welker keep an eye on the bidders.

The auction raised $18,888 for 4-H’ers, who sold a steer, pigs, lambs, meat goats, meat rabbits, and processed chickens and turkeys. (The live chickens and turkeys were banned from county fairs this year due to avian influenza.)

Robert Bannister, right, serves as auctioneer for the 4-H Market Meat Auction. His sister Jayne Bannister is in the ring with the lone steer in the auction. Panek Farms paid $4.50 a pound or $5,378 for the 1,195-pound animal.

Jim Panek, co-owner of the farm, said the Panek family wants to support the 4-H program and the kids who raise livestock.

He said the meat from the animal would be split up among family and employees of the farm.

John Gabalski, 14, of Byron has a pen of rabbits for sale in the auction. They sold for $70 each.

Ian Smith, 17, of Lyndonville is pictured with his grand champion rabbit. Laura Bentley from Bentley Brothers paid $105 for the rabbit.

Smith said a meat rabbit usually commands about $20. He said he would use the extra money from Bentley to buy cages, bowls and hutches for his rabbits.

Zach Welker eyes a bidder for a turkey raised by Grace Sapienza of Hilton. The turkey was already processed. Grace held up a poster with pictures of the animal. The 18-pound bird sold for $55.

Zachary Neal, 10, of Albion gives his pig a final brush before heading into the show ring. Zachary’s brother Jayden, left, also raised a pig for the auction. The brothers were happy with the prices for their pigs. Jayden received $6.75 a pound and Zachary got $5.25 a pound for a 224-pound pig from Lee Shukhecht and Sons in Elba.

Anna Wagester, 12, of Batavia watches the bids for her rabbit, which sold for $87.50. She also had a meat goat in the auction. Her mother Jennifer Wagester is director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County.