As I work each day preparing my market livestock projects for the Canfield Fair, I’m reminded of the importance of dedicated buyers who support the youth of each community through their efforts at the county fairs.
I’m also reminded of a special moment that was a sign of support of youth and an act of generosity that I will never forget.
The coliseum was so hot due to the warm, muggy air at last year’s Canfield Fair that many buyers bought their quota of animals, and then headed out to the cooler midways for relief from the heat.
Without bidding competition, prices began to drop rather quickly. When my second steer came to the ring, the auctioneer chanted and worked the crowd, but when the gavel was struck, 85 cents a pound was the price. Well, I’d done my best, but came up short of my expectations.
Sunday morning, I saw the couple who had purchased my steer come through the steer barn and head for the junior fair office. Having smiled and said good morning, I returned to my chores.
The next time I looked up, I saw one of our steer committee members approaching fellow 4-H member Jeff Susany and me. “Hey guys,” he said, “do you know what your buyer just did? He felt it wasn’t right for you to receive less than $1 per pound due to lack of bidding support, so he brought in another check to bring each of you to $1 dollar a pound.”
I’ll never forget that day and that act of kindness and generosity. What a fitting 4-H story, a day when youth and adults were drawn together in the true meaning of a market project, each doing their best to help reach for success.
To this wonderful couple, I say thank you for not only helping me, but also for being a true friend of youth.
Annie Michelle Houk