Well, again we survived another production sale.  We want to thank all the members, consigners and buyers who made this sale a success.  We had fewer out of town buyers this year, which we can attribute to the economy (do we have one?) and high gas prices.  Also, the price of feed certainly affected the amount of animals sold and bought.  But, all in all, it was a good sale.

We grossed $29,835.00.  Expenses were $1937.62, which were less than last year so the commission charged was 2% less.  This helped compensate for the lower prices, not much, but a little.  The final count sold was 107 single lots and 10 lots of 24 commercial animals.  So, our average selling price per animal was about the same as last year.

The raffle took in $576.00, so it was a great success.  Congratulations to the winners and thanks to the individuals and businesses that made donations.

Some suggestions have been made about how we could improve the sale next year.  I have listed them below, think them over and we’ll decide at the next meeting if we want to implement them or not.

  1. Revise the flyer to list some of our consigners and bloodline of animals to be sold. Also, if possible, some pictures of animals previously sold.  Also, have phone numbers and email addresses of contact members and have the website address listed noting that a printable catalog is located there.
  2. Get the catalog out earlier, at least a month before the sale.  If this requires setting the deadline for entries earlier, make that adjustment.  Come up with a way to have the sellers proof read their consignments before catalog is printed and submitted to the website.  This could be done by email for the most part.  No substitutions after 7 days before the sale.  Sellers will be allowed to scratch their animals, but not substitute.
  3. In the barns, put the lot numbers in order in the pens, as lots 1 thru 10 are in the first pens and so on. Then the folks working in the barns will not have to search for the next lot number somewhere in the pens of two barns.  This could be accomplished by having each consigner get consecutive lot numbers and alternating with a large producer then a small producer in sales order.  That way each consigner would have their animals in one area.  Also, it was suggested to mix the sales order up, selling the bucks and does and various ages in a random order.  This is the way the large internet sales are done and their prices seem to be more consistent.
  4. Buy the numbered tags for the lot numbers to be put on chain or cord around the animals necks.  This will eliminate using duct tape or painting the numbers on the backs of the goats.
  5. Tattoos must be readable.  This is the seller’s responsibility and no exceptions, if they’re not legible, the animals will either not be sold or sold as commercial.
  6. Build staging alleys in panel segments with swinging gates separating each section that can be dismantled and stored after each sale.
  7. Work with the Fair board to assist getting new pens for the sheep barns, hopefully like the ones in the goat barn which are sturdy and easy to get in and out of and to clean.
  8. Have consigners straw their own pens, have straw located by or in the pens so all they have to do is spread it.  We wasted straw the last 2 years on pens that were not used.
  9. On the raffle, write down the beginning and ending numbers of the tickets sold so that the proceeds can be balanced and we can determine how many tickets are sold for the donated doeling.
  10. Make sure consigners sign all the registration papers for the animals they are selling before they are checked in and the papers are turned over to the clerks.

I’m sure there are other suggestions and comments which will need to be discussed.  So to get your input heard, come to the next meeting on October 4, 2008 at 1 pm at the Askew Foxtail Farm.  If you’re coming by I-84 westbound, take Exit 13, turn right(east) off the freeway exit and then left(north) on Sand Hollow Rd.  Go approximately 7 miles (you’ll go thru a flashing red light at 4 corners, our road is a mile north of it) to SE 1st Avenue.  This is just before you come to an overpass over the railroad tracks.  If you go over the tracks and the river, you’ve gone too far.  Anyway, turn left (west) on SE 1st and go approximately ½ mile to 5180.  You should be able to see the goats in the pasture, just before the driveway.  We’re on the north side of the road, white with black trim house back a little ways off the road.  There are 4 large spruce trees by the driveway.  Phone number is 278-3859 if you get lost.  We welcome everyone to come and help decide what we will and won’t do next year. If you are unable to attend, please drop me a note or email about what you think of the above suggestions and anymore you can come up with so they can be discussed.

Thanks again to everyone who attended the sale this year.

Clare Askew