A mantra in Future Farmers of America (FFA) is, “We aren’t cows and plows, we are leaders and achievers, learners and servers, teams and dreams.” It’s also been said that leaders are not born, they are grown. One way for a young person to grow to be a leader is to take care of an animal. Students involved in FFA and 4-H then take the animals to the fair and sell them at auction. Yet, there is a lot of hard work that goes into the steps to take an animal to auction.L&E Bottling

Southwest Junior Livestock Auction gives these children a chance to reap the benefit of all their hard work. Participants have the opportunity to raise, train, market and sell an animal from nine different species. Some kids have invested two years into their animal before taking it to auction. The youngsters are responsible for daily feeding, pen cleaning, general care, and training for the show. Participants must come up with a marketing strategy for themselves and their animals. They will write letters to previous buyers including a picture of them with their animal.

Southwest Junior Livestock Auction
Paige Wagner and Her Steer Hank. Photo credit: Molly Majors

This year, the Southwest Junior Livestock Auction looks a bit different, however, the kids are staying positive and just as excited to bring their animals to market.

Adna’s 16-year-old Paige Wagner has been involved with Adna Middle High School FFA for the last four years. She began showing animals as a freshman in high school.

“To hear that the fair was canceled this year, was a huge disappointment but we just adjusted, kicked it into high gear and decided to utilize social media and the support of our community,” says Paige. “We are so grateful for the positivity and support we are getting from everyone.”

Southwest Junior Livestock Auction
Jake Price and his goat Phillipe. Photo credit: Molly Majors

There are various ways you can help these hard-working FFA and 4-H kids. A common way to support them is to fill out an Add on Forms and mail it in with a donation. There isn’t a minimum amount required. Donate as little or as much as you like, and that amount will be added on to the price the participant receives for their animal. This is an incredible and easy way to show support and acknowledge these kid’s hard work.

There are specific guidelines followed when bringing livestock for auction. The animal needs to be weighed in and they must be in a specific weight range to be considered healthy and ready for buyers. Participants also submit a photo of themselves and their animal, as well as the animal’s health records.

Dr. Jason Humphrey is one of the veterinaries that checks the animal’s health out during the auction. He is the chairman of the Southwest Junior Livestock Auction in addition to being a veterinarian at Cascade West Veterinary Hospital. “Being so involved in the junior livestock auction as a kid is the reason I was inspired to be a veterinarian,” says Dr. Humphrey.

Southwest Junior Livestock Auction
Clara Price and her doe Clementine. Photo credit: Molly Majors

Southwest Junior Livestock Auction supports education with two scholarships available, the SWJLS Committee Scholarship and the Joe Parypa Scholarship. Students interested in applying for one of these scholarships can visit the SWJLS website or email SWJLSTreasurer@outlook.com.

These inspiring young adults need the support of the community. They’ve worked hard while dealing with changes graciously and adjusting their marketing plans. The youth are not feeling defeated or giving up. They’re learning how to be selfless and take care of another living being. Not only that, but they also strive not to just be a success but to be of value. These kids are the future of Lewis County, so acknowledge their diligent work and support their dreams.

Interested in an animal up for auction? Fill out this Auction Bidder Registration Form for a quicker check-in by August 20.

Southwest Junior Livestock Auction
Saturday, August 22
Animal Preview and Buyer Check-In 4:00 p.m.
Sale 6:00 p.m.

Chehalis Livestock Market
328 N Hamilton Rd, Chehalis

Please follow posted signs for directives on masks, seating, and social distancing.

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