Friday night was filled with head nods, high prices, and happy Putnam County 4H'ers during the annual livestock auction at the fair.
This event marks the end of the fair each year, and it showcases all animal exhibitors and their hard work throughout the week.
According to Jeff Rich, one of the auctioneers at the sale, this year's auction was better than last year. This year, there were more buyers at the auction, some of them were new to purchasing livestock. The buyer numbers this year far exceeded what the old record was after being down the previous year.
There were 225 total buyers with 113 new buyers at the auction.
Midland Co-Op stepped up this year by purchasing a total of 63 animals, and even though CARGILL was new to the auction, they also came through by purchasing eight animals.
Rich said there were several big supporters returning this year and there were back-up bidders who helped raise the prices of the animals.
With an increase in the number of buyers, the total sales for the year were up compared to last year. Total sales for this year were $190,905, compared to $182,590 from 2005.
Sometimes there is a struggle to get bids on animals.
"All the buyers believe that every kid deserves $100 over the bid price to help the kid out," he said.
These buyers are not just buying an animal, they are supporting an exhibitor. It is their way of giving back.
"It"s all about the kids," Rich said. "If they (the exhibitors) can get a little more its going to be appreciated."
With 339 animals sold, the beef steers made the most money again at $103,000.76. Grant Colvin sold his Grand Champion Steer for $6,200, a new record for the auction. The steer was purchased by more than 30 buyers. Grant is the son of Chad and Kelly Colvin of Russellville.
First Runner-Up Chelsea Mann announced before the bidding started on her swine that she would be donating half of the proceeds to the fair board. Chelsea sold her animal for $2,300. Chelsea is the daughter of Robert and Malinda Mann.
Rich said that some of these exhibitors live in town and keep their animals out at their grandparents' farm. "It is not a rural thing anymore," he said. "You don't have to be a farm kid to raise a goat."
The total sales in each animal division were: $100,956.76 for swine, $18,257.02 for sheep, $2,487.81 for rabbits, $12,400 for goats, $868.75 for poultry, $35,040.94 for dairy steers, and $103,000.76 for beef steers.
The top 10 buyers were Co-Alliance Midland Co-Op, First National Bank, Old National Bank, Buzzi Unicem, Cloverdale Agri-Center, Cash Concrete, North Salem State Bank, Dr. Heavin, Chadd's Concession, and CARGILL.