Last Saturday should have been a busy day at the Colusa County Fairgrounds, with a buyers luncheon, kids dressed in their 4-H and FFA uniforms, and the Junior Livestock Auction.
Hopes of holding a live auction was put to a halt when the California Department of Food and Agriculture shut down the event just hours before it was to start. The Colusa County Fair Board was forced to pivot to a virtual sale.
“Unfortunately, the State of California had a different opinion about the importance of agriculture,” stated the Board of Directors. “After exhausting every option available to fight the states decision, we offered a way for our youth to exhibit and sell their animals.”
Parents, advisors and leaders were advised June 10, two days before the sale, on the registration process for the online bidding. Exhibitors sent in pictures with their animals to be displayed for buyers. The auction began around noon on June 12 and was to end about 24 hours later.
With over 420 lots listed for sale, buyers experienced a slower than normal connection speed to the website.
“The administrators from EZ2BID.com were blown away by the support from buyers for the Colusa County Junior Livestock Auction,” said Fairgrounds Chief Executive Officer Laura Ford. “Their system was inundated with bid requests. Our exhibitor list was huge in comparison to other fairs they’ve currently handled.”
The mass support caused the auction to be extended to 4 PM last Saturday, allowing for all lots to be purchased. The final number of animals purchased consisted of 146 lambs, 48 goats, three chicken lots, 14 rabbit lots, 10 turkeys, 37 steer, and 155 hogs.
In addition to the online bids, buyers also had the option to “add on” to any exhibitors lot. A form was provided for this option allowing kids to make some extra money in addition to the bids. Average prices and total auction proceeds will not be available until next week, Ford said.