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The Homesteaders of Tomorrow

{From the 2024 Spring magazine}

Written By Nicolina Venice Foti   |  Photos Provided

Homesteading is a popular hobby and lifestyle choice. Whether you were born into the lifestyle, or it came to you later in life, if it is something you are passionate about, there are great ways to get involved in that community and help support the new and upcoming generation of homesteaders and farmers. 

A great local way to do that is by purchasing a 4-H market animal at the Saratoga County 4-H Market Auction. 

The 4-H youth who are raising animals for the market auction are learning firsthand what it takes to raise an animal for meat. They learn responsibility and care for these animals. Through the program, they learn about how to feed animals the best and most efficient feeds. They evaluate the cost of raising animals and then look at profit margins for them. They are setting goals for their animals and themselves and are recording and working towards those goals all year. In addition, these youth are getting out into their community, finding buyers, and advocating for their hard work. As a buyer, you get great local, quality meat, and in the process, you are supporting a kid's goals and helping them establish skills that will follow them into adulthood. These kids will soon be community members who will be giving back with their time and skills or possibly with their homestead, where they can continue raising quality meat and farm products for all of us!  

What is a 4-H Market Auction? 

The 4-H Market Auction is where 4-H youth who are participating in market animal projects sell their animals. The proceeds of each sale go to the individual 4-H member. Many of these young people put their sale earnings toward college, in addition to using the money to offset the costs of raising their animal, and to purchase a new market animal for the next year. When purchasing a 4-H animal from the auction, you are getting a high-quality product. Market animals are raised by 4-H’ers who provide the utmost care. You are also supporting the Agricultural industry. 

What does Auction day look like? 

The sale is held on Sunday, July 28th at the Saratoga County Fair in the Stewart’s Shops show ring, located next to the dairy barns.  

The barn and sale arena open at 1:30pm. There will be a sign-in table located in the barn, this is where you will receive your bidder number/card. You must have a bidder card to purchase an animal. The 4-H Market Auction will begin at 2pm. All animals will be sold starting at market price of the day. When you bid on animals you are bidding by the pound, except rabbits and poultry which are sold by live weight. If animals are in a pen of two, you are bidding on both animals. 

Buyer’s Options

If you want the whole animal... you are responsible for the costs of the purchasing and processing of your animal. Processing fees are an additional cost. 

If your freezer isn't big enough...

You may purchase the meat as a group, where the costs are shared among several buyers. Some ideas for partners are family, friends, employees, and social organizations. Meat purchased by a business makes an excellent thank you for employees! 

You can resell your purchase

You may sign your purchase back to 4-H for a resale. The proceeds from the original sale will benefit the 4-Her. The proceeds from the resale will benefit the 4-H Market Auction Committee. We will use these proceeds to purchase educational materials and supplies for the Livestock program.

You purchased the animal, now what? 

All animals must be paid for, IN FULL, at the end of the auction. The animals will be delivered to a processor on Sunday, after the auction. You may contact the processor for a specific cut sheet. The processing costs are separate from your purchase at the auction. You will be billed by the processor after the animal is processed. The meat will be delivered personally from each 4-Her or you may arrange pick up. 

Tax deductible purchase!

You may purchase an animal as a goodwill gift or as a donation to charity.

Add-on bids

If you are not buying an animal, but you are interested in supporting a 4-H member, you may add a fixed dollar amount (for example, $25) to the sale price of an animal.

Want to buy, but can’t attend the sale?

A proxy buyer can help you. Work with your 4-H youth for information and they will arrange bidding in your name.

If you would like to know more about the 4-H Market Auction program or would like to know how you can show your support please contact Rylie Lear McLenithan 518-885-8995 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..