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Sierra Curry grooms her 4-H Market Livestock Steer prior to making her judging video for this year’s virtual Marias Fair. Valier’s Andy Van Haur spent Friday, July 10 sharing tips with local 4-Hers on how to groom and show their animals in preparation for this year’s online judging.

The Marias Fair Board voted last week to go virtual in consideration of the increase in COVID-19 cases statewide. That left 4-H clubs scrambling to prepare to show their animals by video a week earlier than the live event would have taken place. 

Each youth made an appointment for July 10-12 with the county agent to video as they “show” each of their animals. They will be judged later via the videos. 

Wingina 4-H Club leader, Rachel Stoltz, explained “The kids will show their animals virtually. They will take them to the stockyards in Valier, and the county extension agent will video them showing their animals. It will be interesting to see how it goes.” 

Andy Van Haur helps 4-H members prepare for fair every year by assisting and teaching them grooming techniques and “the look” judges are after. He also gives pointers for showing their animals prior to the usual live event. 

As some virtual showing was scheduled to begin last Friday night, Andy took the day off work on Friday to be available to help. “I’m a huge believer in 4-H. That’s how I received scholarship money to help me go to college. For some of these kids, the fair was their last ray of hope. There is a lot of heartbreak involved.” 

Andy’s son, Kade, has three animals to show and had to schedule a two-hour block to show his livestock back to back to back.

An online 4-H Market Livestock Auction will take this week and conclude on Friday, July 17, at 7 p.m.

Bidders can register at https://jerrycollinsauctions.hibid.com/and go to “Log in/New Bidder.”

 A list of the 4-H members and the animals they are selling will be available on the website mid-week.

Bidding will in $0.10/lb. increments. Bidders may put a max bid in per animal and allow the online platform to bid for them up until that amount as well. If you are outbid, you will receive an email notification to that effect. If a bid is received within the last minute of the auction, it will extend. This allows the bidder a chance to bid without being “sniped” at the last second. 

All market steers will be processed by Christiaens Meats in Valier. Hogs, lambs, and goats will be processed by Lower Valley Processing Co. in Kalispell. 

When asked how the 4-H members were responding to the new format, Stoltz offered, “Honestly, the kids are probably handling it better than some adults! Hopefully, everyone makes the best of yet another unexpected situation.”

For more information on the online sale, check the Marias Fair 4-H Facebook page or contact:

 • MSU Extension in Liberty County, Jesse Fulbright (406) 759–5625 or jlf@montana.edu

•MSU Extension in Glacier County, Kari Lewis (406) 873-2239 or kari.lewis@montana.edu

•Collins Auction Service, Jerry Collins, BAS (406) 581-6456.

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