ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County Fair ended its week of activities on Friday with a live auction. Students who wanted to auction off their small animals had the opportunity to do so live in person, as well as online.
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Students like Kenzie Hayes have dedicated a lot of time and effort to prepare their animals for auction. That’s why she says it means so much to her when she feels supported by those who show up to the event because they’re investing in her future. “Most of the kids whose money they make from this auction either goes back into next year’s project and their future animals or like myself, to save up for college and what we want to do beyond high school once we’re out of the 4H program. So without community support, we wouldn’t be able to do that,” Hayes said.
She says she’s gained many life skills through her participation in the program, something she wished more people took seriously. “It’s not just silly little farm kids playing with animals. We’re building relationships with other people, we’re learning to network, we’re learning to take care of not only ourselves and that we look presentable, but also other living creatures and we’re showing them to the best of their ability. It builds a lot of important skills and that’s really important,” Hayes said.
Meanwhile, Cody Powell and Zachery Eldred both say they’ve learned responsibility through taking care of their animals because, in addition to feeding them, they have to keep them clean, work with them and train them and get them as ready as they can be to show. “Through this, you also learn how to take criticism well from the judges, from your peers, from your parents,” Eldred said.
Nicole Jacobs, family and consumer science 4-H extension agent, said there were over 200 families with their children to help them exhibit the 4H projects. “I think it’s really important to invest in our youth because they are our future. I think the community coming out to invest in these kids help them build skills,” Jacobs said. “One of the best things for kids is having caring adults in their life that aren’t their parents, to help support them.”
Livestock like steers, dairy cows, goats, turkeys, lambs and swine were up for sale at the auction. Jacobs said other exhibitors brought in more than livestock. Projects also included things like baked goods, arts and crafts, and photography.