that's what this week at the fair has seemed like. my heart has been bursting with pride because my kids have worked so hard, and have done so well.
this week has been a lot of early mornings and late nights. yesterday, the second time we got to the fair, the kids had to get their animals ready for the auction. we were anxiously awaiting the 5 o'clock meeting to find out how alex's pig did overall. haley was feeding the lambs and giving them more water, and alex was cleaning out the pig's pen and then going to start scrubbing her down and then feed her really quick. i saw some people looking at a bulletin board. i went up to look and it had all the kids with pigs listed, with all kinds of next to it. alex's name was at the top of the list. next to his name was GR. ok, being new to all of this, i had to ask someone to explain it to me...
ALEX WON GRAND CHAMPION OVERALL!!!!!!!!!!!
we were all really excited, i started making phone calls, and so my in-laws and my mom hurried up and drove to the fair just to see alex get his trophy and ribbon. poor hubby was stuck at work. i took lots of pictures though. apparently this was not enough to get the hubby to reconsider doing pigs again next year. he's still saying "no way, we are going out on top".
haley was so excited for alex. it was so cool to see. first thing she said was "that's so cool, maybe she won't get eaten then".
perhaps now you see why this fair is a double edged sword? that's right, the auction. while it's really cool that the kids get to make money off of their hard work, they also put a lot of time, money, and effort into these animals. some moms *ahem* have developed affections for these animals. so the thought of my, i mean alex's, pig going to a processing center, weighs pretty heavy on my heart. doesn't seem to bother him much. and really, it shouldn't. if all farmers and ranchers made their animals into loved pets...well, we'd all be vegetarians.
anyway, on to the auction. because alex's pig was the grand champion, his was the first pig to be auctioned. after the last of the steers, alex brought her out. they did great out there. she ended up selling for $4.25 a pound. most of the other pigs went for $2 to $3 a pound. he made a little more than $900. i'm hoping that if someone is paying that much for a little pig (she was one of the smallest up there), they are planning on something other than eating her. of course the fact it is josephville meat processing co that bought her, well i'm not sure what to think. i hope she is going to be a brood sow for them. she's such a great pig.
haley's lamb was the 12th lamb out. she brought her out, smiled, and kept her lamb in check. she did great. lambs they sell by the head, not by the pound like hogs and steers. she ended up making $280 off of her little lamb. the grand champion went for around $500, and i think the most paid was $600, but she was about average for what the rest went for. some were as low as $150...but that's still a good profit. haley's lamb was bought by wright city meat market. haley was more upset about the lamb possibly getting eaten. she was nearly in tears. i honestly forgot that people eat sheep/lambs. you don't usually see it in the meat section of the grocery store. at least not the stores i go to.
all in all, this has been a very positive experience. the kids are excited about next year. they are already deciding what animals they want to try to raise for the next fair. i think we may be sticking with poultry. i told them if they want, they can do lambs and poultry, but only one animal per child can get sold at the fair. we will see. chickens get sold for quite a bit of money, and usually they end up going home with the kid. not always, but it happens pretty often.