Thrice-sold sheep raises money for Hospice, 4-H program

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 July 2013 at 12:00 am

Meat auction topped $20,000 for 4-H’ers

Photo by Tom Rivers – Mandy Armer raised this sheep, named Coal, and donated the proceeds to Hospice of Orleans County. The sheep was sold three times on Saturday, raising money for Hospice and the 4-H program.

KNOWLESVILLE – Mandy Armer, 18, of Barre spent more than two months feeding, cleaning and caring for a sheep.

Her payoff could have come at the end of the Orleans County 4-H Fair at the meat auction. But Armer chose instead to donate proceeds from the sale, $531.30, to Hospice of Orleans.

Mandy has lost relatives to cancer. The long-time 4-H’er wanted to support an organization in Orleans County that assists cancer patients and other terminally ill residents.

“I wanted to do something that would help and support something that is local,” she said.

Panek Farms in Albion paid $454.30 for the sheep. The farm then decided to donate the animal back so it could be resold again. Former 4-H’er Robert Bannister of Point Breeze, who served as auctioneer of the meat auction, then paid $1 a pound – another $77 donation to Hospice, making $531.30 altogether for the agency.

Bannister, who now lives in Castlewood, SD, then donated the animal back so it could again be resold. This time Ed Rogger, a meat processor in Basom, paid $1 per pound or $77 and donated the money to the 4-H program.

The fourth annual 4-H animal meat auction netted $20,760 in sales. The sale included three steers, seven hogs, seven meat goats, five lambs, seven chickens, four turkeys and four rabbits.

The 4-H kids raised the animals and many of them connected with buyers for the auction. The 4-H’ers typically use the funds from the sale to invest in next year’s animals and to save for college, said Kerri McKenna, a 4-H community educator and auction coordinator.

“This program allows 4-H’ers to apply real world skills no matter what industry they’re going into,” McKenna said.

She praised the generous buyers, who paid well above the market price for the animals.

“The buyers want to support the youth,” she said.

Armer just finished her freshman year at Alfred. She had four other animals in the auction, two meat goats and two more sheep. She wanted to thank the other buyers: Bentley Brothers, A.L. Bennett and Sons, Tractor Supply and Domoy Farms.