The new world of social distancing isn’t impacting only humans – it’s also changing things for hogs, chickens and their barnyard companions.
With a pandemic altering the special-event landscape, among the casualties are the Spring Fair in Puyallup as well as the State Fair. Lost in the mix is the ability for youngsters to sell their livestock projects they have raised.
Coming to the rescue was a local group that has created a virtual livestock show, which will match sellers with eager buyers. Heading the effort are King County Junior Livestock Show officers Lisa Smith, Ashleigh Stouffer and Leanna Suhoversnik.
It all comes together later this week at the Enumclaw Expo Center, where young folks will spend Friday, Saturday and Sunday with their animals – everything from goats and lambs to turkeys, chickens and hogs. One exception this year is beef cattle (none will be offered). While most of the participants are from the world of FFA and 4-H, organizers open it to anyone 19 and younger; the goal, simply, is to provide a means to sell their animals.
The public can participate in two ways: keeping social distancing guidelines in mind, buyers can arrive at the Expo Center at noon Sunday for live bidding; or, in a twist far different from a traditional Junior Livestock Show, buyers can view the sale and place their bids online.
The online process will allow would-be buyers to make a single offer (pay a certain amount per pound). Going the online route will not allow for a “live bidding” experience.
Organizers hope that by late this week, a website will list the kids involved and give a description of their animals. For that information, visit: www.kingcofair.com/junior-livestock.
This event is a “terminal sale,” meaning all livestock is headed directly to a slaughterhouse, and organizers have made things easy by arranging to have two businesses on hand – Olson’s Meats from Enumclaw and Lind’s Meats from Kent – to handle the process of turning live animals into a cut-and-wrapped, freezer-ready product.
Leading up to Sunday’s sale, youth and animals will participate in judging on Friday and showing on Saturday.