Like the 2020 Delaware County Fair itself, the auctioning of livestock at the junior fair will have a vastly different look and feel to it as well.
Due to the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Delaware County Junior Fair Sale has been moved entirely to a virtual platform. In addition to the virtual setting, the sale will strictly be a donation-only system benefiting the youth showing the animals.
“It’s going to be ‘premium only,’” Angie Dusthimer, chairwoman of the Delaware County Junior Fair Sale Committee, told The Gazette. “In most years, what our sale is is that it’s a ‘premium,’ but the buyer has that opportunity to purchase the animal and have the meat processed at market price. We collect bids from a processor for that market price per pound. So, if you wanted to have that animal processed, you’d pay the premium and the market price.”
Dusthimer said the “add-on” aspect has always been a part of the sales, but for this year, it will be the only option for buyers.
“A lot of times, you’ll hear somebody say they’re going to raise the floor on all of the goats, for example, up to a certain dollar amount so that every kid goes home with at least a certain dollar,” she explained of the add-on system. “So, that add-on feature is the only thing we’re going to be doing this year.”
Dusthimer said the add-on-only system makes it easier for the buyers, who won’t have to “log in every day and babysit the different animals they’re supporting.” She added that buyers who have previous relationships with a particular seller can go directly to their animal in the virtual auction and allocate a dollar amount to them. Others in the auction can also see how much money has already been allocated to the seller.
“It’s definitely a different format,” Dusthimer said of the add-on-only system. “We had the option of doing bids online, but on our committee, we have representation from some of our supporters and buyers. They were concerned about how they would budget for the sales, how they would monitor multiple lot numbers at the same time. If they got into a bidding war, and they had to go back and forth, how do they keep track of it all? So, we decided not to allow bids and instead go to ‘add-ons.’”
The virtual sale will include all the typical categories, such as market beef, lambs, hogs, poultry, rabbits, goats, baked goods, and dairy baskets.
Dusthimer said the restrictions placed on fairs, which resulted in an amended fair schedule, didn’t allow an opportunity for buyers to be able to actually buy an animal this year. However, those showing an animal who wish to arrange a sale privately are still free to do so. In fact, Dusthimer said she believes some of the youth have already been preparing to do just that.
“It is my understanding that there have been several who have already made arrangements with (a buyer),” Dusthimer said. “So, once the fair is over, they can take that animal home and sell it at whatever price they negotiated with the buyer.”
All in all, Dusthimer said she feels the committee has put forth the best format given the unfortunate circumstances.
“We certainly hope so,” Dusthimer said when asked if she felt the system was the best available option. “When we started meeting back in May and June, we were looking at the different restrictions coming out of Restart Ohio, and we were like, ‘Well, do we come up with a contingency plan? How do we plan for all of this? Is this virus going to go away, or is it going to get worse?’ Finally, we decided that our barns are small, we have a lot of people who like to come and support us. Can we really handle turning people away because the barns are full?”
The sale will be hosted by Breeders’ World and can be accessed by going to www.bwfinaldrive.com/auctions. The auction will open at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23, and will remain open until 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. Dusthimer said anyone is free to register for the auction through Breeders’ World.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.