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A Letter About the Delaware County Spring Livestock Show

by Madelyn McConnell

Grand Savings Bank is a proud supporter of the Delaware County Spring Livestock Auction that is held each year during the first weekend of March. Our team is involved in numerous areas of the event from grilling on the day of the Premium Sale to assisting with the clerical side of the auction. Most importantly, GSB finds it important to support the youth of Delaware County by “purchasing” multiple animals each year. Over the past 7 years, Grand Savings Bank has donated over $100,000 that has gone directly to the youth exhibitors. Below, former GSB Junior Board Member and Jay High School Senior and FFA President, Mattie Haynes, writes about what the Delaware County Livestock Show means to her.

What the Delaware County Premium Sale Means to Exhibitors

The Delaware County Spring Livestock Show was held March 1st through 3rd in Jay, Oklahoma at the fairgrounds. All varieties of livestock were exhibited throughout the weekend, including cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs with the Premium Sale rounding off the event. For those of you who aren’t familiar with how a Premium Sale operates, the community gathers for an auction on the final day of the Livestock Show. Each exhibitor brings their animal in the ring and the animal is “sold” to the highest bidder. While the exhibitor retains the funds from the buyer at the sale, the exhibitor also keeps the animal. Instead of it being a terminal sale like most auctions, the “sale” is basically a philanthropic gift from the community member or business that purchased the animal.  For many exhibitors, standing in the ring with their prize-winning animal, as the auctioneer fluently rattles off numbers, and finally says “sold” is the highlight of the entire show. The impact that the premium sale has on young 4-H and FFA members is tremendous, resulting in individuals just like me being forever grateful for those who generously support.

Financial Benefit:  Showing an animal can be expensive! Purchasing the animal, prepping the animal for the show, feed costs, vet bills, etc. are all expenses that accumulate during the year. The premium sale helps the 4-H and FFA members offset their projects costs. Some exhibitors use their premium sale check to purchase the next year’s animal, which is a true testament to how the premium sale benefits students. I feel it is important to remember that some 4-H and FFA members pay for their livestock costs by themselves making them especially grateful for the premium sale.

Pride: The premium sale makes students realize that the community does, in fact, care about their success and future. It is truly a proud moment for an exhibitor to stand in the ring at the Premium Sale. At this point, all of the hard work and endless hours of working with your animal finally pays off. More importantly, smiling ear to ear as your hometown banker, dentist, doctor, or whomever else bids on your animal makes an exhibitor that much more prideful. When 4-H and FFA members realize that people they generally look up to care about their livestock project, they more apt to strive for their goals. The premium sale provides encouragement for exhibitors that is second to none.

Encouragement: The encouragement that helps 4-H and FFA members to be successful in livestock showing is the same encouragement that helps them to be successful in other endeavors. The point to livestock showing isn’t about the purple banner, class-winning ribbon, or even the premium sale check at the end. It is about learning to set your goals high, work hard to obtain them, win humbly, lose with grace, place others above yourself, and the list of life lessons can continuously grow from here. Overall the livestock industry instills values in youth that quite frankly are not common in the world we live in. So when kids receive the encouragement at the premium to do better with their livestock, they are also given more of an opportunity to learn the abundance of lessons available. The premium sale is not only beneficial to youth in agriculture financially, but it also provides encouragement for kids to strive for great things with livestock and life.

Thank you for your unwavering support towards myself and the youth in agriculture of Delaware County!

The Delaware County Spring Livestock Show

Jay Market President, Johnnie Earp and Mattie Haynes

Mattie Haynes | Jay FFA President

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