By Debra Moore
UPDATE: According to event organizer Megan Neer, the event is going ahead as scheduled today, Aug. 16; the event has not been impacted by the fire near Loyalton. Yesterday, youth were able to show their animals and all is ready for today’s sale.
Just because the 2020 Plumas-Sierra County Fair was canceled due to coronavirus, it doesn’t mean the show can’t go on for the dozens of local youth who raise and show their animals each year at the annual livestock auction on the closing day of the fair.
The Plumas-Sierra Junior Livestock Expo & Sale will be held this Sunday, Aug. 16, but with some changes — for starters it will be held at the Sierraville Roping Grounds. Megan Neer, president of the Plumas-Sierra Junior Livestock Sale Committee, said the roping grounds was selected because it’s privately owned and offers ample grandstand seating for social distancing.
According to the website dedicated to the auction, “The event is not affiliated with the Plumas-Sierra County Fair, 4-H or FFA. However, it is being held to provide an opportunity for the youth of Plumas and Sierra counties to showcase and sell their livestock projects.”
Unlike many jurisdictions, which turned to virtual youth livestock auctions, the committee decided to hold a live auction. “We want to make this experience as close as we can to the fair,” said Neer. To that end, youth will be showing their animals Saturday in two show rings. First up will be beef and swine, followed by goats and lambs. The youth will participate in showmanship class and market class, and then the grand champion and reserve grand champion awards will be announced.
The committed made this announcement: Due to COVID-19 precautions, only participants and their parents/guardians will be allowed on the event grounds during grading. On the sale day, only participants, their parents and registered buyers will be allowed entry. A waiver of liability must be signed by each person prior to entry. Additional health/safety precautions will include social distancing, hand washing/sanitation stations and masks for those who cannot social distance.
Traditionally, the auction includes about 130 animals, but this year there will be roughly 80 livestock featuring 20 beef and 30 hogs, and the remainder divided between goats and lambs, with one rabbit.
Neer explained that youth had to buy their beef back in November, but other animals are traditionally not purchased until April. Some youth decided to forego raising animals this year because of the uncertainty that COVID brought to the situation.
But what is certain, is the vast amount of community support the committee has received to organize and make this event a success. “They stayed with it; they didn’t give up and the support has been truly tremendous,” Neer said of volunteers and contributors.
Neer said the main goal in holding the auction is to “fight for and promote the importance of agriculture” and to provide this important opportunity for youth to learn and showcase their animals.
The Sunday event will begin with registration from 7:30 to 9 a.m., and a buyers breakfast hosted by the Plumas County’s Sheriff’s Association from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. The auction immediately follows at 9 a.m. Further details about the event can be found at:http://plumas-sierrajla.com/
To see photos and background information from many of the youth exhibitors go to the auction’s Facebook page.
Absentee bidding, phone bidding and add-ons will be accepted for those who cannot attend the sale in person. These forms must be submitted by Aug. 15:
The following individuals will be available to assist with phone bidding:
Renea Cervantez: (530) 927-7699
Colleen Griffin: (530) 864-1378
Jane Roberti: (530) 249-4036
Some of the individuals and organizations that are making this event possible include:
Grand Champion Steer – Ron Wilson, Livestock Superintendent
Reserve Champion Steer – Roberti Ranch
Beef Showmanship – Dave & Jane Roberti
Grand Champion Goat – Flanigan & Leavitt Insurance Agency
Reserve Champion Goat – S-W Kindness Project
Goat Showmanship – Pasquetti Log & Livestock
Grand Champion Lamb – Susan Taylor
Reserve Champion Lamb – In Memory of Dan Lambach
Sheep Showmanship – Integrity Heating & Air
Grand Champion Hog – Large Animal Veterinary Services
Reserve Champion Hog – Chris & Judy Alexander
Swine Showmanship – Wine Glass Ranch
Beef & Swine Showmanship – Jose & Carol Viscarra
Lamb & Goat Showmanship – Mody Viscarra
Lacey Maddalena-Parsons – facility
Sierra Valley Roping Club – facility
Lenny & Kathi Bertagnolli – panels
Justin Hill & Duncan Cameron – panels
Sierra Valley Feed & Ranch Supply – shavings
Paul & Sheri Roen – trucking & BBQ
Plumas-Sierra Cattlemen’s Association – financial support
Jackson Supply – buyer’s lunch
Intermountain Disposal/Richard Ross – dumpster
Sierra Promotions/John Stephanic – printing and champion blankets
Roberti Ranch – hay for livestock
Genesee Valley Ranch – 50/50 raffle prizes, trucking
Al Pombo – water truck