4-H Premium Auction raises $20,000

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

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The Kingsbury County Livestock Premium Board held its fifth annual Kingsbury County 4-H Premium Auction July 31 during 4-H Achievement Days in De Smet.

 

The auction raised $20,000, which was given to the 68 4-H members who participated in the auction. On average each member received $300. The money goes toward project expenses and future projects.

 

“We give the money to kids in hopes that they’ll put it toward feed, giving back to their project or to buy another animal for another project,” said Megan Eichler, a member of the Kingsbury County Livestock Premium Board.

 

To receive the money, recipients must send a thank you card to whomever donated the money and must also complete a journal about their project and budget expenses, including photos of their project.

 

Each 4-H member can only have one entry. This year’s projects included rabbits, beef cattle, dairy cattle, goats, sheep and swine. Normally members show poultry as well, but this year no poultry was shown because of the avian flu outbreak.

 

Each project has a minimum and maximum bid during the auction. Once the maximum is reached, bidding is completed on that project.

 

“We don’t let the money run up on one kid and not another,” explained Eichler. “We want to run a fair auction.”

 

Once bidding is complete for all of the projects, an average is taken for each category and any bid beneath the average is added to. This money tends to come from the slush fund. This fund includes money donated by sponsors who don’t want to bid on only one child.

 

 In the past five years, the premium auction has raised $95,000 for 4-H members. On average, the auction has 70 participants.

 

 The auction was started by the 4-H beef committee including Eichler and her husband Ryan, Rick Osvog, Jacky Leonhardt and Melody Perry.

 

Eichler said her husband originally thought of the idea. He is a former resident of Brown County and they had a premium auction. He wondered why Kingsbury County didn’t have one as well.

 

“We felt that we needed to give something to the kids for putting in their projects because they cost so much,” said Eichler. “4-H is a learning experience. We want to give to kids to help keep them involved. 4-H is not a moneymaker and the families are appreciative of the help.”

 

Three years ago, the premium board started a scholarship with CorTrust Bank in Arlington. A $300 scholarship is awarded annually to a 4-H member who is going to a post-secondary school.

 

This year’s recipient is Kristen Longville of Lake Preston. She graduated from Lake Preston in 2015 and is a daughter of Scott and Michelle Longville.

 

Mikala Jensen

Editor

Lake Preston Times

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