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Thirteen-year-old Emily Dulany's goat Jack is not going to be ignored when he’s outside his pen Friday at the Jackson County Fair. - Bob Pennell

For Love and Money

CENTRAL POINT — Clay DeVette's 234-pound hog Cranberry was a blue-ribbon winner at the Jackson County Fair this week. He was sold during Wednesday night's swine auction, and now Cranberry is destined for the meat counter at Shady Cove Market.

"He's in a better place now," DeVette said.

Raising animals for show and meat is a big part of the Jackson County Fair, which continues through Sunday. For hundreds of children and young adults in 4-H and Future Farmers of America programs, the fair is the culmination of a year spent raising their animals from babies and learning the business side of farming.

Though many animal handlers grow attached to their charges, they're also enthralled by the sound of auction bids rising higher and higher.

This year's swine auction raised $235,549. The average price per pound was $4.62, and the most expensive hog sold for $30 per pound. Cattle and goats will be auctioned tonight at 7:30.

Rick Davis of Phoenix is the leader of the Eagle Point Livestock Club. He's seen kids get emotional, but said from the beginning they understand the ultimate purpose of each animal.

"We impress upon the kids it is a meat project," Davis said. "It's like a business. It's tough on them, but they come back."

In the first year, the auction can be rough.

Leandra Millard, 10, led her 1,270-pound steer Clyder to the showmanship arena Friday.

Leandra's mom, Angie Millard, supervised as Clyder was prepped, fluffed and hairsprayed just before the competition.

"He's so loving," Angie Millard said. "He'll lick ya and love on ya."

This is Leandra's first year at the fair. She's worked with Clyder ever since he was born a year ago. She and Clyder, who stands taller than she does, sleep together in his stall.

"I'm sad because I'm not going to see him anymore, but I'm happy to get the money," Leandra said.

Mel Morris, a board member of the Junior Livestock Auction Committee, has gone to the fair for 30 years and has seen his share of livestock auctions.

"There are tearful departings, just like anything else when you become attached," Morris said. "Raising it for months, (the animal) seems like a buddy."

Most 4-H'ers and FFA members weren't disturbed by the fate of the animals. Most are already thinking about next year's shows and next year's four-legged investments.

"I have more pigs at home to get attached to," DeVette said.

Reach intern Stacey Barchenger at 776-4464 or e-mail her at intern1@mailtribune.com.

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