Pima County Fair canceled due to coronavirus concerns, so the 4-H students are selling their steers online.
4-H is a program that gives students livestock projects to help grow generations of young leaders by teaching them valuable lessons in responsibility, generosity, and resilience. The final step is to then market the product to interested individuals, businesses, and other groups in a live auction setting.
Although the items bought and sold are meat animals, Pima County Cooperative Extension Assistant Agent Joshua Moore said, the true reason why many support livestock auctions are to invest in the futures of the young people marketing their animals.
Each student spends about 5,000 dollars on buying and raising the steer over a span on 11 months.
"It makes me really proud of myself to know how much hard work I’ve put into each of these animals," 4-H student Annie Stephens said.
Stephens has been in the club for the past five years, and this year is her last.
"It’s been really disappointing honestly," Stephens said. "I put a lot of money and work into my steers."
She said she's planning on using the money she earned this year towards going to veterinarian school.
In Pima County, the Pima County Junior Livestock Sales or PCJLSI holds both a large and small livestock auction every April at the annual Pima County Fair, but this year it is online.
The students in 4-H are participating in an online auction through the Pima County Junior Livestock.
The PCJLSI Small Stock Online Auction is scheduled for April 20th through April 25th, 2020.The PCJLSI Livestock Online Auction is scheduled for April 25th through May 2nd, 2020.
However, Stephens and her cousin Hunter have decided to do their own auction to help the other students get more bids. Her mom created a Facebook post to help auction her and her cousin's steer.
Any questions about the 4-H program in general or the livestock auctions can be directed to Joshua Moore, Pima County 4-H Agent, at firstname.lastname@example.org.