Livestock tradition Fair auction purchase is a great investment

The junior livestock auction at the fair begins at 3 p.m. today. Young people have put months of planning and hard work into raising market animals. They’ve got their ribbons, so they know how well they’ve done. This afternoon they’ll see their dedication converted into dollars. Now it’s up to us to bid.

Consider it an investment in the future of agriculture in Montezuma County, as well as investment in the future of our youth.

Ag is a business learned by apprenticeship. Sure, it’s possible to earn a college degree in agriculture, but that’s not how young people learn to be farmers and ranchers. They learn from their families, their neighbors, their 4-H leaders and FFA instructors, and they learn best by doing. Raising an animal to show at the fair is a time-honored way of entering the livestock business, and it’s a system that deserves to be continued.

Second, consider that buying an animal at the livestock auction is great advertising. You can bet that livestock exhibitor and his or her family will appreciate you, and they’ll tell everyone they know to patronize your business because of your support for agriculture and youth within the local community. That kind of reputation is priceless, and so is the friendship that goes along with it.

There is no more “local” purchase than an animal raised by a local youth. Money spent buying an animal at the fair sale will recirculate through the local community. Furthermore, there’s no more cost-effective way to support the agricultural tradition of our region.

If your checkbook can’t manage a steer this year, buy a smaller animal. If you can’t afford the whole hog, partner with another buyer who can afford the other half. Make your money do double duty by investing in something you can barbecue for your company picnic. If you can only contribute a little, there are ways to do so, including the add-on program.

Everyone should come out, sit in the stands, and offer moral and monetary support to young people carrying on a fine tradition. Come out a little early and take in all the exhibits, booths and other fun things to see and do at the fair. You might be surprised at what’s being produced in Montezuma County, and by whom. You’re likely to be inspired. You’ll definitely see friends and neighbors, and you’ll get to celebrate rural living while you talk about politics and the weather.

You can have a great time and purchase some of the finest meat to be had anywhere, and you’ll be supporting two of the best causes around: the youth of Montezuma County and a tradition that’s well over a century old. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Bid. We promise you’ll get your money’s worth.