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updated: 8/4/2012 6:25 PM

Farm animals big hit at McHenry County Fair

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  • A sheep is shown around the ring at the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions at the McHenry County Fair Saturday in Woodstock.

       A sheep is shown around the ring at the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions at the McHenry County Fair Saturday in Woodstock.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • Bidders fill the stands of the Hansen Pavilion for the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions at the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock Saturday.

       Bidders fill the stands of the Hansen Pavilion for the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions at the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock Saturday.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • Rabbits purchased during the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions at the McHenry County Fair stay cool under the Hansen Pavilion Saturday.

       Rabbits purchased during the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions at the McHenry County Fair stay cool under the Hansen Pavilion Saturday.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • Presenters at the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions showed off their livestock in the Hansen Pavilion Saturday at the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock. Many visitors who won bids donated their prizes to local businesses.

       Presenters at the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions showed off their livestock in the Hansen Pavilion Saturday at the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock. Many visitors who won bids donated their prizes to local businesses.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • Gene Meyer of Marengo signals a bid to the auctioneer at the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions at the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock Saturday.

       Gene Meyer of Marengo signals a bid to the auctioneer at the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions at the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock Saturday.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • Austin Gratz, 10, of Harvard gets ready to show his sheep at the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions at the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock Saturday.

       Austin Gratz, 10, of Harvard gets ready to show his sheep at the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions at the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock Saturday.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • An auctioneer introduces the cattle round of the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions at the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock Saturday.

       An auctioneer introduces the cattle round of the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions at the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock Saturday.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

 

It's been a few years since Erin Beetstra last participated in the 4-H auction at the McHenry County Fair, and while watching the youngsters parade their goats, steers, pigs and poultry around the Hansen Pavilion on Saturday, the 22-year-old Harvard resident recalled those old days.

"I used to show steer and now I am reliving old memories," Erin Beetstra said. "The kids work really hard. I used all of the money to pay for college without any loans."

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Erin Beetstra and her mother, Amy Beetstra, paid $7 per pound for a 120-pound goat shown by Austin Gratz, 12, of Harvard.

"We'll donate it to the Harvard Food Pantry," Amy Beetstra said. "It's just fun."

Amy Beetstra said she also had her eye on a pig later on in the auction.

"We'll keep the bacon," she said with a laugh.

The auction was a success for Austin, who has had lambs at the fair for the past three years. He sold two lambs on Saturday for a total of $1,330.

"I raised them from babies with my grandfather," Austin said. "It's fun to see them grow up and then see how they do at the fair."

White pieces of paper shot into the air as auctioneer Gordon Stade rattled off prices at high speed. The auction crew often struggled to keep up with bidders signaling from around the pavilion.

One of the biggest auction prizes for the day was a 1,400-pound steer that sold for $2.90 per pound, or $4,060.

The fair, which wraps up Sunday, features grandstand entertainment, including live music, a demolition derby, antique tractor parade and a rooster crowing contest.

Admission is $7 per day and children under 7 years are allowed at no charge. The cost is $3 for children ages 8 years to 12 years and senior citizens.

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