TRAVERSE CITY — Gross sales were down but total participation increased at the 2013 Northwestern Michigan Fair 4-H Youth Livestock Auction.
The Aug. 8 auction brought in about $579,000 — a figure that was slightly lower than the 2012 total of about $585,000. However, 484 youths participated in this year’s auction, an 11 percent increase from 2012, according to the Northwestern Michigan Livestock Council. Participation in the council’s overall programming also grew by about 20 percent between 2012 and 2013.
Obviously people want to be involved in this program,” 4-H Livestock Council President Darrel Robinson said.
The 2013 auction attracted big monetary donations for local educational funds and charities. More than a dozen donors pitched in nearly $32,000 to the Noelle Pipoly Education Fund, a college fund for a Kingsley teen whose father and sister died in a February car accident.
Donors also contributed $11,250 for the Glen Noonan Honorary Grain Scholarship Fund, a needs-based scholarship for funding future 4-H projects named after a Leelanau County farmer who has been a major purchaser at fair auctions.
Local food pantries and charities received 51 animal donations from the 2013 auction, including 35 swine and six steers. All told the donated animals weighed more than 18,000 pounds.
“It’s just a wave of goodness,” said Lilly Nowicki, event and database coordinator for Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan, one of the nonprofit groups that accepted fair donations. “We’re helping multiple people with a very simple cause.”