Before last year’s Monroe County Fair, Jacey Baum of Fults was preparing to show cattle like she had done every year since she was 8.
In the lead-up to the event, however, she broke her back and tailbone, which rendered her unable to participate in the fair.
That made the news that this year’s fair was canceled due to COVID-19 even more painful.
“I couldn’t do anything last year, so I was just devastated (it was canceled) because this was my last year,” the 17-year-old said. “It really hurt.”
The Monroe County Cattleman’s Association will ease at least some of that pain for Baum and others like her, as it is hosting an online market beef auction that will replace the cattle market auction typically held on Thursday of fair week.
The online auction will run from 10 a.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Monday on propertypeddler.com.
Property Peddler owner, auctioneer and broker Brad Chandler said it was important to find a way to have an auction to encourage the continued excellence of beef production in Monroe County.
“We are fortunate in Monroe County that we still have a large number of good, top-quality cattle producers,” said Chandler, who is also vice president of the cattleman’s association. “These kids have done what they do every year to put forth and produce top-quality animals. As adults helping youth, we’ll help anybody who helps themselves, and these kids have helped themselves. Due to no fault of their own, the bottom just fell out of the prices.”
Chandler’s own children started showing cattle at the fair 21 years ago, and that provided him with more expertise on the importance of the auction.
“All these kids have got at least six months into those projects right now, besides the money and expense,” he noted.
Chandler also pointed out that young cattle producers often use the money they make from selling their animals at the fair to help pay for college or their first car.
“This is an experience of life, not only with the animal,” he said. “This is where they get their money from to start their adulthood.”
Given all those factors, Chandler said the association began planning an online auction before the fair was officially canceled because it assumed that would happen.
A key component of that was finding a place to process the animals, as almost all local places are incredibly busy.
The association was able to finalize a deal with Schubert’s Smokehouse in Millstadt to process the animals as soon as possible amid its busy schedule.
Then, it was a matter of determining how to fairly market this event to the public.
The association got unsolicited contacts from a few organizations and individuals who sponsored the auction, paying for its advertising and expenses so every dollar made from sales could go to the children who raised the cattle.
For their part, those young people had to send pictures and videos of their animals. Property Peddler was also available at a weigh-in on Saturday to take its own photos or videos if needed.
The youngsters are also responsible for delivering their cattle to customers within a six-mile radius of Waterloo.
All that work is appreciated and worthwhile to sellers like Baum, who also helped plan the event through her role on the association’s junior board of directors.
“I thought it was great,” she said of the idea for an online auction. “To be part of putting all this on for all the other kids who have animals at the fair, I love it.”
Visit propertypeddler.com during the auction to see the weight of each animal, its type or breed and a picture and video of it. Individuals can bid throughout the auction or simply enter the maximum bid to purchase an animal outright.
Contact Chandler at 618-791-3289 or email@example.com for more information.