Home News COVID-19 Business Updates HCFA Cancels County Fair

HCFA Cancels County Fair

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Proposes On-Line Auction

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – Following a vote on Monday, March 23 by the Crockett City Council not to allow the Porth Ag Arena to host the Houston County Fair and Youth Livestock Show, the Houston County Fair Association (HCFA) cancelled the event.

HCFA President Scott Moore issued the following statement Monday afternoon: “On behalf of the HCFA, the 2020 Houston County Fair has officially been cancelled due to the growing concern of the COVID-19. The HCFA executive committee has been working very hard to come up with an alternative solution that would allow the fair to take place and stay within the guidelines of the directives put in place by the Governor. However, that has proven to be impossible. It is with great regret that we must cancel the exhibitions of all entries. We are still looking into other avenues to possibly have an online sale as a recovery method to allow the kids to recoup some of their expenses. This is NOT to say we will, this is simply stating we are looking into all options.”

Wyatt and Charlee Biano pose with their market goats.

The statement continued, “We will be scheduling an executive committee phone conference soon to discuss these options. We are deeply saddened with this decision and want all the exhibitors, parents and buyers to know that we are doing all that we can to continue to help the youth of our great county.”

On Monday evening, however, the HCFA executive committee met to discuss a possible solution to the cancellation.

Following the meeting, a second statement was issued by the HCFA.

  1. It was a unanimous decision to have an online auction for market animals only (Fryer Rabbits, Broiler, Market Hog, Market Goat, Market Lamb, Market Steer, and Replacement Heifers.) NO BREEDING DIVISIONS, AG MECH, HORSE OR HOME & GARDEN ENTRIES. We regret that due to circumstances, no animals will be judged or placed. All entries for said division will be sold, if they so choose. The Sale Order will be randomly selected by species. We feel this decision was the best outcome to allow the kids to recover some of the expenses invested in their project. We will be using Wal-Lee Auctions, this is the same company that Trinity County Fair used and it was a success.
  2. It was a unanimous decision to allow the buyers the option of the animal’s disposition (i.e.; floored, sent to processing, to be delivered to the buyer or back to the student.)
  3. It was a unanimous decision to change the kids’ commission from 8% to 5%, which is strictly the cost for the online auction fee. The HCFA will receive no profit from this year’s fair. All add-ons must be made through the add-on form only, which will be mailed out by Wednesday, March 25 to all previous buyers/supporters. The commission will only be assessed to sale items, not the add-ons.

Here are the instructions for the exhibitors in the Market Divisions that will be selling:

  1. You must send an email to www.houstoncountyfair@yahoo.com by Monday, March 30 at 5pm. This email must include the following:
  1. The exhibitors name, club, and division entry.
  2. The exhibitor must specifically request to be entered in the online auction or to be withdrawn from the county fair for this year. It will not be assumed that you want to be included in the online auction. If you choose not to be entered it will not affect your eligibility to enter in the 2021 Fair.
  3. Please also include 4 pictures: one with kid and their animal, left view, right view, and front view of the animal by itself. This will allow the buyers to preview the animals before and during the sale. If you do not have the ability to take or send pictures please contact Beverly Moore at 936-546-3951 for other arrangements to be made.
  4. For Goat and Lamb exhibitors, please specify wether or nanny or ewe lamb.
  5. Each exhibitor entering the online auction will also need to provide a short bio to include a name, age, club, school, and amount invested in their project.
  • The exhibitor will be responsible for delivery of the project at the buyer’s request at conclusion of the sale. This information will be provided to the exhibitor the following day of the online auction. The deadline of the delivery based on the buyer’s request will be the following Monday after the sale, 4/6/2020. If the buyer decides to floor the animal, it will be the exhibitor’s responsibility to deliver the animal to the floor buyer at the designated date, time and place. This date will be set closer to sale date and will be provided to those exhibitors.
  • Once the exhibitor has entered in the online auction, there will be no allowance for pulling your project.

This is uncharted territory for HCFA board members, exhibitors, parents, and buyers. Again we hate that this falls under these circumstances and want to push forward to make the best lemonade out of the lemons we have been handed. We hope that we can continue to count on the community and devoted buyers and supporters to this great youth of this county. As the same in previous years, supporters can still add-on to exhibitors of any and all projects.

More information will be released in the days to come as we prepare for the new changes.

Will Johnson may be reached via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.