Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Our Sale Day

We had our production pig sale on Sunday afternoon. I bet that many of you are wondering what a production sale is. Hubby Steve raises and breeds  hogs. We have a yearly sale at the end of April each year to sell young pigs to area youth that are in 4-H. The 4-Her's need to have their little pigs bought and at their homes/farms before the first part of May. Many families that have kids in 4-H do not live on active farms, but do have a place to keep a couple of pigs so that the kids can feed them and take care of them until they go to their county fairs.

The small family farms are not as plentiful as years ago, and that is where we come in. We are still a small family farm! Hubby Steve and Kenny have done this the last six years, and this year Allen and Cody also sold a few pigs.  Years ago when we were producing many more hogs than we are now, we had big sales and sold breeding stock that went all over the states and into Canada and Mexico.  We would have up to 850 pigs on the place.  Now we have scaled down to about 20 sows, so that means we may have up to 250 to 300 pigs now when little ones are born.  I'm retired from my paying job, he's semi retired and still farming, but on a smaller scale!  Spose you'd call it his hobby! 

There were  buyers there from our area here in mid Minnesota, southern Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa and even a phone bid from Nebraska.  It is fun to watch Moms, Dads and kids come to the sale, check out all the hogs; kids getting excited and writing down the ear tag number of their favorites, so that they can bid on the pigs they like best.  We had 83 pigs that sold.  Our Durocs (red pigs) are all registered, and we did have a few cross-bred Hampshire-Duroc pigs.  Kenny and Sharon had cross-bred pigs, Hamp-York cross pigs that end up colored white with grey markings across the rump (called blue butts).  There was a feed representative there with several 50# bags of show feed, show sticks and t-shirts to give away.  We gave them away by drawing of bidder numbers throughout the sale.  Our auctioneer Wayne played a "Heads or Tails" game with the buyers and gave away a ten dollar bill.  A young boy won, and was he ever excited.

Hubby with the mike, me and our auctioneer Wayne

A pen of Durocs waiting to go into the sale ring

Sale clerk help - daughter Leah, Sharon and me.
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Sharon is the wife of the other hog producer.  There are others helping also, Leah's husband Steven, son Blake,  girlfriend Dena and daughter Amanda. Sharons husband, son and brother are there also helping.  Allen, his son Cody and daughter Brooke also helped.  There is alot happening before the sale that most buyers don't realize.  We have the sale about 2 hours from home.  Kenny and Sharon are about 3 hours from home.  Al and Cody are about 1 hour from the sale.  That means that they guys are up early, loading the pigs into stock trailers, loading shavings, feed, and the panels used for a sale ring.  The sale is held at a county fair grounds and started at 3 pm.  The guys get there about 10 am, set up pens and put in shavings for the pigs.  They set up a show/sale ring.  We then make a sale list of the pigs by pens.   This list is used to make up the sale order.  About 2 hour before the sale, the guys let each pen out so the buyers can look at all the pigs.   We had about 60 bidder numbers that were filled out, so with kids and parents there were a lot of people there.  The building was quite crowded.  Then when the sale starts, there is help getting the pigs into the sale ring, each pen of pigs is brought into the sale ring and as each pig is sold, the guys remove that pig and put in back into the pen it came from.  So it really does take a good group of guys to help.  This sale is really a family affair for the 3 families that put it on.   Before a buyer can load his new purchase into his truck or trailer, they have to pay the clerks and show his paid receipt to the guys.  We now have a good routine going, so each year it gets easier to do.

There is a 4-H club that is there serving sloppy Joes, bars, pop, water and coffee.  I am glad for the club to do that, as people come to auctions hungry, and it's one less thing that I don't have to worry about doing. After the sale is over,  all piggys  gone and on their way to their new homes we clean up the barn, take down all the pens, clean up all the shavings and leave the barn like it was before we got there.  Then we all go out to eat and relax a little.  When we got home Sunday night it was after 9 pm.  We were both very tired.  We had hired our neighbor Donny to do chores for us that night, so they were done when we got home. 

I worked on the sale record keeping all day Monday and finished today.  Deposited the checks and figured out the commission, expenses, etc. etc.  Printed out all reports to share with Kenny and Sharon.  Glad to be done for another year!   Now Steve keeps in contact with those that bought our pigs to check with the kids to see how the pigs are growing and if they need any help.  Steve goes to as many of the county fairs as he can to see the kids show their pigs.  He loves going to the livestock shows!  He'll be delivering pigs down south and delivering the pig to the Nebraska buyer, meeting them half way.

So that was our busy weekend.  Now on to another busy week!    I anxious to get back to my sewing and crafting!!!!!!!!


Far Side of Fifty said...

This was a great post! I enjoyed it, I know that those little pigs are off to fairs all over to be champions!! You should be resting and relaxing after your busy day :)

Darcie said...

Thanks for seeing I wasn't raised on a farm I wouldn't have I do! Thanks for sharing.

City girl turned Country Girl said...

Oh I am so jealous!!! I wished I was closer so I could have bought one from you guys!! I am glad your sale was a success!! With the problems our KS breeders have had this yr it's good to hear that others are doing well!!