The Wayne County Junior 4-H Livestock Sale on Saturday, Aug 11, marks the end of months of feeding, grooming and training for area youngsters.
Each year, children and teens across Wayne County invest their money, time, energy and talent in the raising of market livestock animals as 4-H projects, and those efforts finally culminate at the annual Wayne County Fair.
The 4-Hers will continue caring for their animals even as they compete in breed and showmanship events in the Livestock Arena, but the results of that hard work have always been destined for the auction block and then the slaughterhouse.
More than 150 companies and individuals, mostly local, attend the auction and bid on the animals on a price-per-pound basis, rewarding those who raised them, and eventually taking home high quality meats for the freezer.
The public is invited to participate in the auction by attending and participating in the bidding or letting a friend do it for you. The 4-H Livestock Committee can also help by handling your bids. It is possible, as well, for two or more buyers to bid on one animal, arrange for the slaughter and divide the meat, but you will have to agree on the top bid price.
Bidders are responsible for arranging and paying for the processing of the animal’s carcass, and the Wayne County Penn State Extension Office in Honesdale has a list of area processors. They highly recommend making the arrangements before the sale. Packers will then handle all the necessary arrangements including transportation, aging, butchering, cutting, wrapping and freezing your meat.
Extension officials also offer guidelines for the cost of processing, which can run between $400 and $570 for a market steer with a 660-pound carcass that produces about 500 pounds of edible meat. It is likely to cost between $170 and $380 to process a 172-pound market swine carcass and between $60 and a $130 for a 40 to 50-pound market lamb or meat goat.
A beef steer will yield approximately 120 pounds of hamburger and more than 100 pounds of steak, as well as roasts and stew meat. A 245-pound carcass of a market swine should produce around four pounds of bacon and 33 pounds of ham along with pork loin, spare ribs, hocks, butts and shoulders.
For more information about the 4-H program or the Junior Livestock Auction call the Wayne County Penn State Extension Office at 570-253-5970 ext. 4110.
The 156th Wayne County Fair opens this Friday, Aug. 3, for a nine-day run on the Fairgrounds, just north of Honesdale at Route 191. Pay-one-price admission includes parking, all the rides and most of the entertainment. August 8 is Senior Citizen Day with $5 discounted admission for those age 65 and older.