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Participants in the 2019 auction receive awards for their animals.

RICKREALL – There will not be a 2020 version of the Polk County Fair this month, but one popular event, the Polk County Youth Livestock Auction, will take place on Aug. 15.

The event will be at the Polk County Fairgrounds & Event Center starting at 10 a.m. Auction categories this year are turkeys, goats, steers, lambs, rabbits and pigs.

"The Polk County Livestock Association (PCLA) is excited for the Market Show and Sale in just a few weeks and have been working closely with the Fairgrounds as we prepare," said Lee Letsch, a member of the PCLA and the organizer of the auction. "As a reminder, we want to remind everyone that we will be asking for everyone's assistance in meeting the state recommended guidelines."

The auction will be taking place outside and organizers will monitor the number of people at the auction site. The site is bigger, is outside, and looks different, but it still provides opportunities for our exhibitors and community. 

Masks, face shields or face coverings will be required in barns at all times and at the auction when the required physical distancing is not possible. 

Other crowd restrictions include: 

  • Organizers will limit the number of people on the grounds and in the barns.
  • Exhibitors will be identified by the area in which they have animals and be restricted to those buildings.
  • Family members of exhibitors have been limited to two individuals per family, no children.
  • Sale bidders will be registered.
  • No general public will be allowed

Organizers will also monitor the:

  •  Number of people in buildings
  • Number of people in restrooms
  • Number of people on bleachers

"If anyone has any COVID-19 symptoms we are asking that they not attend," Letsch said. 

Bids also are accepted via phone or email before Aug. 13. Those interested in make a bid via phone or email can find more information on how to do so on the PCLA Facebook page. 

“As you know, this year has been a crazy one for all involved, but especially for our exhibitors as they weighed the choices of getting a market animal to grow and develop their skills through this pandemic,” said Lee Letsch, of the Polk County Livestock Association, which puts on the event each year.

Letsch said the auction will reward those youth who decided to take on raising animal this year.

“As a supporter of our program, you are encouraging youth to develop responsibility and valuable real-life skills, it helps advertise your company or business, it is an opportunity to purchase a quality meat product, and you are supporting valuable education for youth in our community,”  Letsch said.

This year, there won’t be a buyer barbecue held prior to the event.

“We do look forward to being able to celebrate with you next summer when hopefully we will be back at the normal fair,” Letsch said.

Masks and social distancing will be required.

“Also, due to COVID-19, we are asking that all buyers main social distancing and bring a mask so that we can ensure that all buyers, exhibitors, and parents remain comfortable and we meet the restrictions put forth by the governor,” Letsch said.

Buyers have the following options this year:

  • Purchase a whole animal and keep it
  • Purchase an animal and sell it to the floor buyer
  • Give money to an individual or group of members
  • Give money to the Polk County Women for Ag buyers pool
  • Absentee buyer options are available as well.

“Our exhibitors have worked hard again this year amongst great uncertainty to bring you quality livestock raised right here in Polk County,” Letsch said. “We hope that you will join us in supporting them.”

For more information, to register as a buyer, or make a bid, find Polk County Livestock Association on Facebook.

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