The livestock for sale included turkeys, meat and dairy market goats, market rabbits and meat chickens, with Don Sweeting and Roger Hunker serving as the auctioneers.
Gayle Pickworth, in whose honor the pavilion was named, was the official fair auctioneer for 50 years, but he retired from these duties in 2017. Hunker read a note from Pickworth saying it was his honor to have served for so long and although he has retired from the fair he has not retired as an auctioneer.
The bidders at the sale are usually businesses or individuals who want to help the exhibitors, as well as generate goodwill for their enterprises.
The youngsters receive not only the amount bid for each animal but also its market value, which reimburses them for the time, energy and money that have gone into the livestock.
All the numbers are bid prices only.
The bidders are asked if they want to keep the animal for meat. If they want the meat, they are charged for their bid, plus the price of the animal listed on the sale bill. If they do not want the animal, they are charged only the bid price.
The sale began with Aubrey Mathias from Willard receiving $800 for her grand champion turkey and Philip Madison earning $700 for his reserve champion.
In the meat goat category, Plymouth’s Kendall Keene took home $1,300 for her grand champ and $1,000 for her Reserve animal. North Fairfield’s Brooke Gahring won $1,150 for her dairy market kid grand champ and Rachel Herbkersman from Collins received $900 for her reserve champ.
For meat rabbits, North Fairfield’s Travis Hinckley received $1,000 for his grand champ and Plymouth’s William Flaherty received $800 for his reserve champ.
Monroeville’s Allison Martin earned $3,500 for her grand champ chicken meat pen, which Sweeting noted might be a new record for the sale, and Norwalk’s Jackson Gahring received $1,000 for his reserve champ.
All of the exhibitors had a story to tell about how they got interested in 4-H or FFA and the animals they had chosen to bring to the fair. One of these was Philip Madison, whose turkey was chosen reserve champ.
Philip belongs to the Greenwich Country Cornhuskers 4-H Club, and this was his fifth year showing turkeys. He also showed hogs and two dairy cows and had a woodworking project as a member of the South Central FFA.
He said, “I’m not too worried about my turkey going to market because it will make somebody a nice Thanksgiving meal.”
With very specific plans for his future, he will study construction paving at EHOVE this fall and then work for Smith Paving & Excavating after high school. He said he chose this as his career because, “I like road construction and like working outside.”
Philip has two brothers, and brother Andrew’s turkey was chosen third overall champ. They live in the rural Greenwich area.