The Market Animal Show and Sale of Marathon County is back! Hundreds gathered at the Wisconsin Valley Fairgrounds to bid on livestock raised and cared for by area 4-H kids.
Showing animals is a long process that could take anywhere between a year and a half to six months, depending on the animal. All the kids that compete in the competition raise, clean and teach their animals all on their own, before they're brought to the auction to show and sell.
The auction usually has close to 150 kids who participate. Wanda Pecha is the event organizer, she's been running the program for a little over a decade now. "This is a good opportunity for them to earn money towards a college education," said Pecha, "Some of these kids breed and own their own animals, and it gives them a chance to earn some money to maybe buy a new part to their breeding stock."
Austin Valenta is 15, and he started showing pigs four years ago. He said his first time was hard, but raising pigs is something he's gotten used to. And where most kids feel a little sad about giving up their animals, Valenta said he doesn't mind it at all.
"It feels pretty nice," said Valenta, "That pig that you grew from 60 pounds... all the way up to 270-something pounds... and give it to the people, it kinda feels kinda nice." Valenta already has plans for the money he'll make at the auction. He said he's going to put most of it away for college, and spend the rest on himself.
And if your child wants to participate in next year's auction, they can sign up through the 4-H club of Marathon County.