CASHMERE — The Pavilion at the Chelan County Fair was filled with hogs, goats, sheep, chickens and people on Saturday during the livestock auction.
Tucker Cool of Chelan spoke rapidly as he pressed the crowd to raise the price on the various livestock 4-H and Future Farmers of America members were selling. Some of the pigs seemed less than enthused to be sold and ignored the prodding from their owners, attempting to escape back to their pens.
It isn’t easy selling an animal after a person has grown attached to them, said Molly Oswald, 17, of Chelan. Oswald’s goat received the grand champion award and Oswald also received the overall supreme showman honor for her presentation of the goat.
“It is always hard because you grow close to them as you raise them,” she said. “It’s always a little bit sad, but that’s the purpose of them and that’s what you bought them for, so you know it is coming.”
Oswald’s goat was a beefy, gray and tan Boer goat, rippling with muscles. What makes an award-winning animal is the size of its muscles, its square top, and long, wide loins, she said.
While raising the animal for show, she ran around the goat’s pen to help it exercise.
“To exercise them goats are funny because they’ll follow you, so when you run, they run,” Oswald said. “So you basically run back and forth with them in the pen and basically start doing laps, basically going crazy and having a good time with each other. So it is really entertaining.”
It was Sadie Sullivan’s first year selling her goat at the auction. The 13-year-old Wenatchee girl received $150 for her dairy goat Boots.
Goats are one of her favorite animals, she said.
“I love them,” Sullivan said. “I like taking care of them and I just love their personalities. This one, she’s a baby so she can be a little wild sometimes. She likes to jump.”
Raising a dairy goat is a good stepping stone to selling an animal for meat production, said the teen's dad, Bill Sullivan. They’ve been slowly getting her ready by starting with raising vegetables, to chickens, ducks and now Boots.
“We think they’re probably ready, because they are asking us if they can sell a market animal,” Bill Sullivan said. “So we’ll see; we’ll find out in a year about how they feel about letting it go.”
One of the things kids do to remain unattached to the animals is not name them, he said. Boots wasn’t supposed to have a name, so he suspects there will be some tears when Sadie Sullivan lets her go.
It’s a good experience to participate in 4-H, though, and it brings the family together, Bill Sullivan said.
“It helps us be closer as a family, because there is really a struggle getting ready over the course of a year and then, of course, the final preparation,” he said. “There is the life lesson part in letting it go, and then there is the learning together about how best to take care of the animals.”