Farm Talk: 4H Livestock Auction, Real Stories from Scholarship Applicants

On Friday, August 9th the official 4H auction at the Ventura County Fair took place. Below is the transcript of the Farm Talk podcast we had just before the auction.

We’ve had podcast shows before about the 4H auction and the add-on contributions that our team makes on an annual basis. This year, letters flooded in from kids around Ventura County, CA; most were handwritten notes and pictures of the animals from this year’s auction. I will be making add-on contributions supporting their animals. Of course, I don’t want to buy their animals, but I do want to support them anyway I can.

I wanted to share a few letters just so you have an understanding of the type of kids that are involved in 4H and what our sponsorships here at the Paul Ward Ranch & Home Selling Team all about. The first letter comes from a young girl named Clara who is 14 years old. She’s in the eighth grade in Camarillo, CA and she’s raising a lamb. This is her handwritten letter to me:

“Dear Mr. Ward:
My name is Clara and I have been a member of Las Posas 4H for four years now. I have raised one goat and one lamb in the past as well as recently being elected co-vice president of my club. I will be going into eighth grade at Las Colinas in the fall. In my free time I like to play softball, basketball, and surf. This April I purchased a Suffolk Hampshire Cross from the Bunch Ranch in Moorpark, California. I’ve been raising this lamb named Roger at the McCormick Ranch with two other lambs. As of last Thursday, Roger weighed 138 pounds and he’s still growing! I feed him twice a day and walk him daily. Raising Roger has been no easy feat, but it has been extremely rewarding. These last five months included a tremendous amount of hard work, but it has only increased my excitement for fair week coming soon. I would like to invite you to the Ventura County Junior Livestock Auction on Friday, August 9th at 9:00 AM. Rogers ear tag is 8746 so that is the best way to find me. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to seeing you there.”

That was the first letter of several and the kids are raising lambs, steers, goats and pigs. This next letter comes from a girl named Sally. She’s also 14 years old and this is what she has to say:

“Dear Mr. Ward:
Hola! I am Sally. I am 14 years old and I’m heading off to the fair for the fifth year. Wow, time flies! I recently ended my eighth grade here at Los Primeros school and I will be entering Camarillo High School in the fall. Last year my steer was underweight, and I wasn’t able to participate in market. This year I’m happy to report my black Angus full-size steer, Boy, is thriving. He really enjoys all of his walks and all of his attempts at successful break-outs from his pen. He just loves to run! He gets plenty of meat, farming exercise and gets his cardio in. I would like to invite you to the Ventura County Fair on August 9th. The steers will be auctioned fourth. Can’t wait to see you there. Thank you for all of your support! From Sally and Boy.”

The next letter comes from Kieran, and she has a title to her letter. “Big News! Kieran is Taking a Lamb to the Ventura County Fair This Year!” She writes to me:

“For the past three years, I have raised market goats. This year I could not pass up the opportunity to raise a legendary bunch lamb. These lambs are legendary because the bunches have been breeding in Ventura County, CA for over 40 years. I’m 13 and entering eighth grade at Los Primeros school. This is my fourth year in Las Posas 4H and my first year in the market lamb project. My lamb’s name is Willy and he loves to run. He loves when we practice showmanship. He is a great bracer, he loves showing off his stoning backside. Paul Ward, Willy and I would like to invite you to the Ventura County Fair on August 9th. The lambs auction is first, 9:00 AM start time. We hope to see you there!”

That’s just a small sampling of the many letters that we’ve received from kids from all over Ventura County, CA. We will be making a contribution to each child that sent us a letter and a picture. Interestingly, some kids wrote handwritten letters, while other kids were more strategic and sent a form letter. I decided that kids that went to the trouble of writing a personalized handwritten note are going to get a larger scholarship contribution from our team than the kids that copied their letter or sent me a fancy brochure. The kids that hand wrote their notes spent more time on it so I think that’s worth something extra. So just a little bit of fun here today, I’m sharing with you kids that have sent in their 4H auction animals and letters, and I’m happy to make a contribution to their education scholarships, helping offset some of the cost of their 4H projects. Message us to leave your thoughts on this weeks episode!

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