The 109th Stanislaus County Fair may have been postponed, but that did not deter the board and staff from maintaining the livestock program. The 2020 Virtual Livestock Auction exceeded all expectations, according to Fair staff.
Over 274 exhibitors were able to enter the virtual livestock auction. The sale grossed more than $306,522 with each exhibitor receiving an average of $1,118. The auction sold 82 goats, 52 Lambs and 140 Hogs. The annual market beef had 44 steers grossing at $219,000.
“With the help of our community partners and our staff this virtual livestock auction was a tremendous success,” said Matt Cranford, chief operating officer of the Stanislaus County Fair. “Our priority was to make sure each exhibitor received money regardless of the fair’s postponement.”
The virtual livestock auction would not have been successful without the sponsorships received. Modesto Irrigation District made a huge contribution to the auction by keeping their 2020 Fair sponsorship and allocating their dollars towards the exhibitors. American Ag Credit and Yosemite Farm Credit made a great impact and donation towards the auction as well as Associated Feed, Turlock Feed, and Friends of the Stanislaus County Fair Foundation.
Additionally, beef supporters of Stanislaus County, with the help from Turlock Livestock Auction Yard, helped enormously to take care of and sell the 44 steers. Shane Parsons, generously donated his facility to help ensure the beef exhibitors would have a place to sell their projects and donated commission back to the exhibitors.
In 2019, Livestock program had increased in entry numbers with total gross sale of animals sold at the fair auctions exceeding over $1.3 million. Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H members sold 98 heifers at the 51st Annual Replacement Heifer Sale, grossing $305,650 ($3,151 per head). Supreme Champion was Isabella Pires, from Wood Colony 4-H, selling her heifer at $10,500. Reserve Supreme Champion was Kylie Kriese, from Gregori FFA, selling her heifer at $5,000.
The 55th Annual Junior Livestock Auction in 2019 grossed $1,064,082 for FFA and 4-H members. Sold at auction were 26 rabbits, 179 goats, 146 sheep, 365 swine, and 53 steers. The 55th Annual Market Beef in 2019 auction grossed at $295,987.
The 2020 Stanislaus County Fair was set to open July 10 for a 10-day run, but was canceled due to the pandemic.