Emily Capps prepares to head out to the auction floor with one of the many roosters up for sale in a 4-H auction held Saturday at the WNC Agricultural Center. Animals formerly shown at the Mountain State Fair were auctioned to raise money for the clubs. 2012 file photo by Colby Rabon/Carolina Public Press

Close to the end of September, 4-H clubs from across Western North Carolina gathered at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center.

For most of the animals, it was somewhat familiar territory.

Most had spent some time around there preening, prancing and and on show during the Mountain State Fair. But that Saturday, the animals had come with their small handlers and families to launch a new, post-fair life in a livestock auction held by area 4-H clubs.

Dr. Beverly Hargess, the leader of the Barnyard Bandits 4-H Club in Hendersonville,  spearheaded the event as a way to raise funds and awareness and to interact with the community. And all the Banyard Bandits — the children green shirts pictured in the following photographs — had showed animals at the fair.

For 4-H leaders and participants, the clubs aim to reinvigorate interest in agriculture and to get young kids interested in farming, leaders said.

“We learned how to grow,” said Michael Stiles, with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, of advancements in farming technology. “But we forgot how to grow farmers. We’re growing farmers.”

Here, a story, in photographs, of auction day, which included a bake sale, too.

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Colby Rabon is a contributing photographer to Carolina Public Press. Contact him at colbyrabon@gmail.com.

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