Editor, Times-Union:

Just before the 4-H Livestock competitions begin, the 4-Hers join together in a fun, light hearted competition called “The Battle of the Barns.” For many kids, this is the highlight of the week. Livestock barns compete against each other for the honor of flying the championship flag at their barn entrance. Points are given for various farm-related relays and “skill” competitions. A “tug of war” between the barns with the highest point totals determines the winner.

A very important part of the competition is a collection taken for various food pantries and community service organizations. 4-Hers are given two minutes to collect money from the audience. These donations are then equally divided throughout our county. This year, the 4-Hers collected $4,366 during the “Battle of the Barns.”

In addition to these funds, 4-Hers are also given an opportunity to personally deduct money from their auction checks to designated food and food-related community organizations. This year, 105 youth participated in specified donations, for a monetary total of $2,775. The 4-Hers and the special 4-H Livestock competition exceeded 2021 giving by over $765 for a combined donation total of $7,141.  

Kosciusko County 4-H Livestock Auction also partners with Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry to donate meat products.  Beau Goshert, Morgan Himes, Haley Nelson, Anna Seewald and Cameron Zimmerman donated their hogs toward this cause. The five animals yielded 550 pounds of sausage for an approximate value of $1,974.50. We are very appreciative of their personal decisions and willingness to serve their communities in this way.

The 4-H pledge states: “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.” We are so very proud of our Kosciusko County 4-Hers for realizing the value of community and service to others.  

The strength of the livestock auction provides the opportunity for our 4-Hers to “pass it forward.” Their ability to give back to others is due to the generosity of our 4-H Livestock Auction buyers. Many thanks and our gratitude to the businesses, individuals and families that believe in the value of our youth and a 4-H program that teaches responsibility, commitment and models service.

The Kosciusko County

4-H Livestock Auction Committee

Submitted by Beth Lamb, treasurer