Letter: Support the future of agriculture in the Yampa Valley at Junior Livestock Sale | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Support the future of agriculture in the Yampa Valley at Junior Livestock Sale

For the last three years, I have had the privilege and honor to work as one of the 4-H agents in Routt County. Every day, I work with the most incredible young people. Many of them are raising livestock they will sell at the 2020 Routt County Junior Livestock Sale.

These youth are the backbone and future of agriculture in the Yampa Valley. If you care about maintaining our working landscape and want to make sure we continue to have ranching and agriculture in the Yampa Valley, it is crucial that our youth continue to see a future in agriculture.

This year has been tough for everyone, but especially for our youth. When kids were supposed to be buying animals, the status of the fair was unknown. And if there is one thing I learned over the last 15 years working with farmers and ranchers, it is mitigating risk is the name of the game.

This year, over 130 4-H and FFA youth took a chance and believed that the community would step up when called upon. They purchased animals, or bred their own, and took care of them. They invested countless hours and hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of dollars into their animals. The sale is the culmination of their work. It is one of the only ways youth recoup their costs and potentially secure a profit to reinvest in next year’s animal or put towards their future education.

So, what can you do to assure that these kids feel supported in their community? You can start by signing up at stockshowauctions.com. If you are able, consider bidding on an animal. Bidding is open to all and can be done from the comfort of your home. Bidding opens at 8 a.m. Thursday and closes at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Routt County has been fortunate to have a very supportive community. In last year’s sale, rabbits averaged $383, turkeys $785, chickens $875, goats $1,006, pigs $2,949, lambs $2,157 and beef $4,812 per animal. 

If you or your business is not interested in a whole animal, you can award “add-ons” to individual youth. Just select a youth to support and select add-on.

4-H and FFA are crucial tools for youth to develop agricultural skills and experiences. Please consider supporting them and let them know they were right in taking a chance on our community.

Libby Christensen
Routt County CSU Extension agent

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