OKEECHOBEE – Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H members whose animals could not be sold during the annual Youth Livestock Show got a second chance to recoup their investment in their project animals on Saturday.
Every year at county fairs and livestock shows, some youth are unable to sell their project animals. Some may be turned away because the animals are too unruly for the show ring, but for most, the problem is the animal did not “make weight.”
The Second Chance sale, held April 2 at the Okeechobee Livestock Market, was open to 4-H and FFA members from all over Florida. "This sale was truly for the children. It was a way to show them that when you get knocked down, you've got to get back up,” said Matt Clemons, organizer of the event.
"Every farmer knows that some years their crop is affected by certain things that make it a 'bad year'. The children that have animals on this sale have experienced this for the first time. This is all part of being in agriculture. Some years are good and some years aren't, but you keep trying,” said Buddy Mills OLM employee who was the auctioneer at the Second Chance Sale.
Thirty-seven youth signed up for the sale. Most were from Okeechobee County but there were also participants from as far away as Miami and Plant City.
Special thanks go to the buyers because without them, there would be no sale: Paco Anuez, Wendy Crum, Wendy Culberson, Marshall Davis, John Entry IV, G & B Bulldozin, Richard Guthrie, Iron Spur Cattle, Angelo Izzo, JC Kitaif Pro Rodeos, Seth Louthan, Danny McFarlan, Mullis Meats, Matt & Heather Clemons, Old River Cattle Co., Clemons Oak Creek, Okeechobee County Cattlemen's Association, Pope Farms, Wade Rogers, Seminole Tribe of Florida Council – Brighton, W.E.L.L.S Cattle, Watford Auction, American Drilling, Williamson Cattle Company and Gilbert Family of Companies
Those who did not wish to buy an animal but still wanted to help a child could go online to www.okeechobeelivestockmarket.com/specialsales to make a donation online. The money will be dispersed to all youth who participate in the sale as a bonus or “add on.”