‘Resiliency and adaptability’: Nevada County Fairgrounds to host virtual livestock, agricultural mechanics auction
For more info or to update existing buyer info by contacting the Nevada County Fairgrounds at:
The Nevada County Fairgrounds will be hosting the 2020 Nevada County Fair Online Junior Livestock and Ag Mechanics Auction Thursday through Saturday.
The auction, normally an in-person event held as a part of the annual Nevada County Fair, has been transitioned online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting cancellation of the fair.
The event will open at 9 a.m. today and conclude with a 90-second closing interval for each lot, a process set to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday.
During the three days of bidding time, buyers will be able to bid on animals and projects as well as contribute guaranteed donations to the participating youth — an “Add On” bid to support an individual, or a “Community Pool” bid which will go toward all participants.
Once the auction begins Thursday morning, buyers will be able to log in, view all available lots, and begin bidding.
In a press release, fairgrounds staff described the auction as “(representing) the culmination of a long year of work and dedication by FFA, 4-H, and independent youth exhibitors.”
According to Fairgrounds CEO Patrick Eidman, there are 202 registered auction lots this year, consisting of 182 market animals and 20 agricultural mechanics projects. For comparison, there were 283 auction lots in 2019.
Over 100 new buyers have registered for this year’s auction, and there are over 1,000 existing or returning buyers.
“There are significantly fewer ag mechanics projects this year because the students didn’t have in-person access to the school shops after transitioning to online learning,” Eidman wrote in an email Monday.
Eidman said one of the biggest challenges in hosting the auction in this format has been communication with buyers regarding all of the changes involved, and distributing effective information on how to log into the auction to participate. Alternately, he said some buyers have expressed a preference for the new format, saying it gives them enough time to browse through and learn about projects before bidding on them.
In this year’s virtual format, rather than prepare an animal for display in a show ring, youth exhibitors produced 90-second videos and collections of photographs to show off their animal. Eidman said the participants took this new task in stride, almost all sending in well-done submissions and information on time.
“The exhibitors continue to amaze me with their resiliency and adaptability,” said Eidman.
River Valley Community Bank is the presenting sponsor of the auction, and more than 20 local businesses have also signed on as auction sponsors. Local agricultural nonprofits including the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation, Nevada County Farm Bureau, Nevada County Resource Conservation District, Nevada County Ag Youth Boosters, Bear River FFA Boosters, and Nevada Union FFA Boosters each contributed time and fundsto the auction.
“The level of support has been significant enough that the Fair Board was able to drop the sales commission that is charged to facilitate the auction down to 1% from 6%, which is a major benefit to exhibitors in what has been a tough year,” said Eidman. “The outpouring of community support for the exhibitors and the online auction has been extraordinary and we are so appreciative.”
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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