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Work pays off as 4-H animals sold at auction

AlyssMiller 15 Morgan Township holds one two broilers she had up for sale during Thursday’s 4-H CelebratiSale Porter County Fair.

Alyssa Miller, 15, of Morgan Township, holds one of two broilers she had up for sale during Thursday’s 4-H Celebration Sale at the Porter County Fair. She received $400 for the two chickens. | Sun-Times Media

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For more on the 164th annual Porter County Fair, go to www.portercountyfair.com, or call 462-0321.

Updated: August 26, 2014 6:46AM



VALPARAISO — There were ducks dressed as prisoners in black-and-white stripes and wearing leis.

Also, chickens looking like hula girls and patriotic cheerleaders.

It was all part of the 4-H Celebration Sale on Thursday at the Porter County Fair, the payoff after months of hard work by 4-H’ers who take the time, energy and patience to see their animals through the season.

It’s also big money. As potential buyers filled the seats and bleachers in the livestock arena, Martha Sharp, the sale’s coordinator, said the event generates more than $300,000 in sales in four hours. Last year’s auction garnered $350,000.

“Our community is amazing at how they support the 4-H’ers,” Sharp said, adding that the proceeds go back to the kids. “A lot of the kids use the money to buy their animals for next year or they put it into a college fund.”

Boys and girls can earn thousands of dollars on their cattle, she said, “however, there’s an expense to this. They have to pay for the food and all, so they don’t necessarily profit that much, but they do really well.”

Alyssa Miller, 15, of Morgan Township, is no exception. Participating in 4-H for a sixth year, her two broilers, wearing American flag bandannas, were the first animals sold at the sale and netted $400. She also planned to sell two hogs.

“We take out how much we spend on them and that much goes back to my parents, and the rest goes into my account” for college, Alyssa said.

She said she enjoys seeing all the people at the auction and having her hard work pay off but admitted selling the hogs was difficult when she was younger because she gets attached to them.

“It’s getting easier, but it’s still hard to let them go,” she said.

Jeff Overholt, of Kouts, participated in the fair when he was growing up and likes to give back by purchasing a hog at the auction, which he has done the past couple of years.

Hogs typically go for $3 or $4 a pound and more for a champion, and they weigh between 260 and 280 pounds.

“It’s all about the kids,” Overholt said. “They work hard at this, and I think it’s important to show them we appreciate what they’re doing. And 4-H is a good thing.”



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