Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Fair Farewell

Once again the Dried Salmon County Fair has come to a close. This year I went every day except one. I was not an exhibitor or a volunteer, simply a visitor and a supporter.

I came from a county that didn’t have a County Fair. There were no kids in FFA or 4-H. There was no livestock other than very expensive horses that made money for their owners and keepers. So when it’s Fair time I get to go there and carve out a chunk and place it in the area where there is a void in my childhood.

At the close of the Fair there is the livestock auction, where the FFA and 4-H kids get to sell their market animals and reap the rewards of their hard work. A Fair Board member told me that the auction here raises more money than any Fair auction in the state of Oregon.

Oddly and unfortunately this works the same as a reality show where there are winners and losers who get kicked out of the running. If you have a recognizable name you get the big bucks, but if you are unknown there is a good chance you will lose money on the deal. There wasn’t a poor looking steer in the lot. All had excellent confirmation and they were all far above the garbage one would see on a feed lot, yet the popular kids with well known family names were pulling in $5 per pound, while the unknown kids were lucky when they got $1.10 per pound. It generally cost all entrants close to $1.50 per pound to custom raise their beef, so some kids didn’t even break even. While the popular kids were ending up with $6,000 for their steer and the unknowns were getting $1,300 for theirs.

I wish there was a way to change this to a blind auction where the confirmation of the animal would command the price, and announce the owners name after the bidding closed.

For those who didn't get the price they expected, try going organic and then you can sell on the open marked for five times what it cost you. Just an idea for you...

Oh well, it’s on to the State Fair next. By the way, the Decemberists are doing a concert at the State Fair, very cool!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fair should/could promote more local vendors. Probably expensive, there goes should/could.
Everybody wins if the local vendors get a deal.
4-h is a wonderful program.
The beef thing is out of hand, feel sorry for the un-poular girls at our schools.

6:43 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

It does seem that fewer businesses are there every year. There used to be rows of tents of local businesses. I wonder what happened there. I really miss the goofy guy with the trailer who could tell you if you were going to hell or not.

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as in many circles in Clatsop County you benefit from having the right name. Regardless of your ability, committment or intelligence.. you benefit because of your name...

9:57 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Take heart, there are a lot of names of disgrace here as well.

5:58 AM  

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