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Sat, Sept. 26

Local 4-H clubs to participate in Coconino County Fair virtual auction

Ricky Gonzalez is on of the many 4-H members who will be selling animals at the virtual Coconino County Fair livestock auction Sept. 3-5. (Submitted photo)

Ricky Gonzalez is on of the many 4-H members who will be selling animals at the virtual Coconino County Fair livestock auction Sept. 3-5. (Submitted photo)

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — 4-H clubs in Coconino County have struggled to continue northern Arizona’s home-grown livestock tradition during the coronavirus pandemic, but will culminate the season at the Coconino County Fair this weekend.

Members presented their animals during a livestock show Sept. 1, and most will be participating in a virtual auction Sept. 3-5.

“It’s been a tough year on these kids,” said parent Richard Gonzalez.

Livestock raising and showing is a popular tradition in Coconino County with young developing skills in the handling, feeding, grooming, exercising and showing of their rabbits, poultry, swine, sheep, goats and cattle.

Time spent raising these animals develops important, lifelong skills such as time management, leadership, marketing and public relations.

Participants also invest money in young livestock they raise over the year, which includes the purchase price, feed and medications. There’s also a big investment in time in the barn.

The Northern Arizona Junior Livestock Association, Inc. (NAJLA) sponsors and produces the livestock auction for the benefit of 4-H/FFA junior livestock exhibitors in northern Arizona.

Proceeds from the sale of projects often fund college educations, enhancing the ability of youth to contribute to their communities, according to NAJLA.

Although livestock are sold individually and steer often weigh over 1,000 pounds, supporters can consider purchasing an animal as a group and splitting the meat. Smaller animals such as turkeys and chicken can also be purchased.

The purchase of a market animal from a junior livestock exhibitor provides a home-grown, high-quality flavorful meat, while supporting the tradition of raising livestock in northern Arizona.

Anyone interested in participating in the virtual fair can follow the link: https://najlasite.org/ for the Northern Arizona Junior Livestock Association. The auction begins at 6 a.m. Sept. 3 and ends Sept. 5 at 3 p.m. Preregistering is recommended.

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