Area youth had a chance over the weekend to show off the hard work they had put into all kinds of projects at the Sacramento County Fair. For many, the fair culminated on May 29 with the Junior Livestock Auction, which was back in person after two years as a virtual event.
Students from the Galt and Liberty Ranch FFA clubs and Herald 4-H entered the auction rings with carefully raised hogs, goats, lambs, chickens, rabbits and steers, hoping to get the highest possible bid.
Several students from the groups submitted agricultural mechanics projects, such as tables and porch swings they had designed and built themselves. Bidders in a silent auction perused the projects and spoke with the students.
In addition, two Galt 4-H students took part in the fair, their craft entries winning multiple awards. With two sets of handmade earrings, Olivia Rodriguez received first and second place in the crafts division for the indoor creative exhibits. Elia Rodriguez placed first in the sewing division with a handcrafted quilt.
Kiera Schloeder with Liberty Ranch FFA was looking forward to her final auction after seven years taking part. She said she enjoyed teaching her market goat how to walk on a lead and with a halter and brace.
Schloeder felt that the time management skills and sense of responsibility she has built up through ag programs would be broadly applicable as she graduates high school.
“I’m just looking forward to having a good last auction,” Schloeder said. “I don’t need a big amount of money. I just want to have a fun time and sell him.”
Some students were dusting off their showmanship skills after two virtual fairs.
Chris Bramasco of Galt FFA cited “the learning curve of getting back into things” as a challenge in preparing his lamb for market.
“Now, coming back to, quote, a real fair, it’s been challenging trying to relearn everything.”
He said he had developed patience in working with his lamb this year. During five years of showing lambs, he “wanted them to be perfect immediately, right out of the gate, and this year my lamb definitely gave me a run for my money with that.
“He showed me how I kind of need to be calmer and how I needed to just work with him more because that’s the key to success, is being calm and patient with these animals.”
Bramasco was eager to transition to the buyer side of the auction and learn how to support the students coming up after him.
Liberty Ranch FFA member Juston Plummer built a porch swing using refurbished wood from a construction site and excess firewood. He said he chose reclaimed materials because of how expensive wood — and metal — have become lately.
“I learned how to use a planer; that was a big one for me. And I learned all the struggles of working with wood, of making everything fit right, and I used a lot of my skills, including my welding, torch cutting and a lot of woodworking skills.”
Plummer hoped the eventual buyer would be somebody “that’s really going to get a great use out of it, and somebody that’s really excited about because it is a pretty cool design, I think, and I hope someone really likes it.”