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October 21, 2021

Monterey County Fair Junior Livestock Auction returns with in-person show Saturday

Salinas High grad receives Heritage scholarship

MONTEREY — The thrill of in-person bidding at a livestock auction with live auctioneers and an engaged audience returns this Saturday, Aug. 28, with the Monterey County Fair Junior Livestock Auction.

The 2021 auction, returning for the first time since 2019, begins at 10 a.m. at the Livestock Event Center at the Monterey County Fair and Event Center, 2004 Fairground Road, in Monterey.

It’s all part of the action at the annual Monterey County Fair Livestock Show, which will now be held the weekend prior to the fair, on Aug. 25-28. The 2021 Fair is set for the following weekend, Sept. 3-6.

More than 160 exhibitors have signed up to showcase their livestock during the in-person show and auction, with eight area youths and their animals honored as champions after the auction.

Reserve Supreme Champion Market Goat, shown by Luis Gonzalez of Gonzales FFA (Contributed Photo)

“The heart and soul of the fair is the junior livestock program,” said Kelly Violini, Fair CEO. “Many of the exhibitors rely on their earnings from their projects to pay for their college educations. Supporting the junior livestock auction, not only supports the youth of our county, but is a tax-deductible donation.”

The auction follows the format of a traditional auction, with live auctioneers and bidding until the highest bid on a lot is reached. All animals will be sold through the in-person auction with live bidding.

Judging and grading will take place in the days prior to auction. The all-species Sale of Champions will occur at the conclusion of the swine sales, which is the first lot to go on the auction block.

Heritage Foundation scholarship winner

Salinas High School graduate Karla Ahumada was named the winner of the Monterey County Fair Heritage Foundation’s $2,500 scholarship and exhibitor of the 2021 Heritage Hog, which will be auctioned off at the livestock auction.

Karla Ahumada

Ahumada was ranked in the top “1 Percent” of her Salinas High graduating class in 2021, with a GPA of 4.524, and will be attending CSU Chico in the fall on a full academic scholarship. She plans to focus on ag business, with a minor in plant science.

Ahumada has always been “devoted to agriculture,” so much so that when the pandemic occurred in 2020, she went to work in the strawberry fields, rather than doing nothing. She said that her community has allowed her to experience a life full of growth, strong friendships and fun adventures.

Ahumada has always had a passion for agriculture, especially horses and decided to join 4-H several years ago, then transitioned to FFA when she got to high school. She was active in her Salinas High FFA Chapter, holding several offices over the past couple of years, including Chapter Vice President this year.

She currently serves as the Reporter for the Monterey Bay Section FFA. In her spare time, she is also a member of the Monterey County Fair Jr. Fair Board as well as the Salinas Valley Charro Group.

She gives back to her community, as well. Last summer, during the River Fire, the barn that was being used by the Salinas FFA had to be evacuated, and animals needed to be sheltered at other locations. And even as her family had to evacuate, she never faltered at ensuring her animals were fed and taken care of.

She also volunteered at the SPCA during that time, to help with other animals that were safely evacuated.

All proceeds from the sale of the Heritage Hog will benefit youth in the community by promoting scholarship opportunities, agricultural awareness, and help improve the barns, grounds and event center venues at the Monterey County Fair.

KV Swine donated the Heritage Hog this year.

For information on the auction, visit the Fair’s website.

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