New Canadian County Expo Center hosts junior livestock bonus auction

50th annual show opens Feb. 28

Canadian County Fair Board Chairman Kelly Beck

By Cara Pattison
Contributing Writer

EL RENO – While Canadian County will celebrate its 50th annual youth livestock show with a bang, the competition is sure to offer a night to remember for the county’s past and present 4-H and FFA alumni and their families.

Canadian County’s Junior Livestock Show will be Feb. 28 through March 2 at the “old” fairgrounds, 220 N. Country Club Road.

However, the livestock bonus auction will be Friday, March 4 at the “new” fairgrounds Expo & Event Center, 3001 Jensen Road E.

This is the first year the bonus sale will be hosted in the new facility.

And event planners want to make it memorable, Canadian County Fair Board Chairman Kelly Beck said.

“We are excited!” Beck said. “This is going to be a big production. While animals won’t show in-person at the Friday night bonus sale for the first time, we want to focus on the kids and all the hard work they’ve done. Their parents have provided photos as a backdrop as they stand in the ring for bidding by businesses and individuals alike.

“We want the kids to be able to say, ‘we got to be a part of the first bonus sale at the new fairgrounds, and it was a big deal.’”

The county’s 4-H and FFA programs, schools, the OSU Extension office, and the Fair Board are all working together to make it a special night, Canadian County OSU Extension 4-H educator Todd Branson said.

“Because of the tremendous traditions this county has with regards to livestock and show animals, we all are looking to celebrate the first 50 years and let it catapult us into the next 50 years.

“A pinnacle night for a local showman is to make the county bonus livestock sale,” he added.

At this year’s Friday night event, there will be a livestock supporter dinner followed by a live auction where a donor may bid per pound on a 4-H or FFA showperson’s animal.

Winning individuals and businesses alike donate money to the top showmen and women of their choice in each animal breed via a live auction to help the showperson pay for a season’s worth of expenses spent on their animal.

The kids get to keep their animal and the donated funds. Many recipients use the funds to help purchase the next season’s show animal.



In addition, the Canadian County Fair Board plans on offering the online bonus site.

Last year, the online bidding system allowed donors to bonus the youth exhibitors more than $20,000.

Out-of-town and out-of-state friends and family members, breeders, businesses, and organizations were able to donate whatever they’d like specifically to the student(s) of their choice.

That will happen again this year.

Before the March 4th live auction, livestock supporters attend a traditional meal hosted by the Canadian County Fair Board.

This year’s meal will feature some extra programming, Branson said.

“Anyone who is a graduating senior will be recognized, both 4-H and FFA,” he said. “We will give the 4-Hers their graduation cords and pins, recognizing them as new alumni. Also, the fair board will present some scholarships. There will be some other surprises, as well!”

The event also will celebrate families past and present by recognizing families that have been a part of the program from 50 years ago until now.

“We want to celebrate the difference that livestock has made for families here, and the night of the bonus sale is the perfect night to honor the people of this county in the new facility,” Beck said.

While anyone wanting to bid at the live auction will need to attend the event in-person, those wanting to bonus the 4-H or FFA student using the online donation system may visit auctioneer Ken Carpenter’s website.