Another lesson in agriculture

August2

I’ve been to many fairs over the years, and to be honest the animal parts (besides things like the rodeos and horse shows) seemed sort of pointless to me. But we went to the Yamhill County fair tonight to check it out, and going with a farm girl changes everything.

When we first walked in, she said that she has almost never gone on rides at the fair. I wasn’t altogether surprised, but that’s pretty much what the fair was about for me when I was little. But my daughter’s a little too small to get much out of them, and I’m not interested in paying $2 to pop a balloon, so we skipped that section and went on to check out the animals and other exhibits.

I was actually surprised to learn that many of the animals are taken for the express purpose of auctioning them off for food. I had no idea. Again, I had thought that having all of the animals there was basically pointless. But now I get it, and it was actually sort of neat.

We went to the auction twice. Once for some of the hogs and once for some of the steers. I kept my eye on the kids that were selling and presenting. I don’t know why but I half expected them to be some kind of “farm geek”. But they were all pretty normal, they just raised farm animals.

The auction was an interesting idea. We couldn’t figure out all of the details about how everything worked, but people bid on the animal to either keep as food or donate to a local charity to feed needy families. And then the kid gets most of the proceeds for whatever they need/want. If I had known how it worked prior, we would have budgeted some each month and stocked up on some meat. But a 1400 pound cow costs a bit more than an impulse purchase allows, even at the rock bottom prices that they were going for. It was actually kind of sad to see the animals that these kids had obviously worked hard to raise go for so little.

Anyway, I guess this is just one more step in my ever increasing experiences in the agriculture arena. It’s not an area I ever saw myself interested in, but as I learn more and more about it, the cooler it’s getting.

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