Celebrating Community Spirit: Join Us at the Silver Dollar Fair!

Posted on : May 21st, 2024

It takes many helpers showing the herd of goats!

It takes many helpers showing the herd of goats!


It’s fair time and what does that mean to Maisie Jane’s Family and her community?  

The Prep

I can’t think of a more special community affair, that lasts an entire week and involves the whole family, than the Fair.

Isabela showing her Hog. This year will be her last year showing: She’s a senior!

Isabela showing her Hog. This year will be her last year showing: She’s a senior!

As I write this I have ear tags that need to be applied ready to go, baked goods in the oven to be entered in the baking division, animal pen signs on my table that are being fine-tuned, trucks loaded with fitting gear and feed, our travel trailer that is stocked and ready to go, and outside fourteen four-legged critters that will be hauled to our Silver Dollar Fair tomorrow for the kick-off, ‘Weigh-in’ day. Then it’s time to let the shows begin!

Fair time is a special time when all the hard work of raising animals brings so many rewards to children of ages ranging from 9-18.  It’s a blessing to now be a parent with my husband of my three girls who have been very involved in 4-H and FFA over the past nine years.  Experiencing it from this different perspective from when I was a child and teenager I now know and am grateful for all the work my parents and other family friends and adults put in to help make it all happen! It’s ‘good work’ though; one that transcends into helping ensure our future is filled with hard-working people that were given the opportunity to learn first-hand what it feels like to be rewarded after many sacrifices, expenses, and time commitments while being surrounded by giving adults, leaders, and family friends that were rooting for them all along.  

The Show
Natalia showing her Dairy Heifer, Daisy

Natalia showing her Dairy Heifer, Daisy

It’s fair that the kids and their parents get to come together with their communities and support these kids that work so hard every day, to not only keep these animals they are raising alive, but they bring out the best in them!  They are trained, fed premium food, kept clean, taken on walks, clipped and groomed, and they even have to play ‘vet’ occasionally when problems arise, (often they rely on certified vets when serious problems arise). Then at the fair, they get shown and graded for their conformation, cleanliness, and show glamor. Even the child’s ability to show them off is judged.  It’s not an ‘all kids win’ kind of scenario. There are ribbon placings for most of the shows giving the kids high goals to shoot for.  After the high stress show days where the kids are fitting their animals and hoping their animals will be on their best behavior, the week ends with the Jr. Livestock Auction.  That’s right, all the kids raise their animals with the intent to sell them at auction for hopefully a profit.  While raising their animals they are tracking their expenses and most of the kids calculate exactly how much per pound they will have to make to break even or make a little profit.  


The Auction

Most fairs in the country have a Jr. Livestock Auction. I have to say it’s the single most important aspect of any fair in the United States.  It’s a way for a community to come together and support first-hand, hard-working youth.  As many of the kids selling animals do have an agriculture background, the 4-H, FFA, and Grange programs also attract kids and families without this background which is equally important.

Winning with the Dairy Goats: Lilia Hurtado

Winning with the Dairy Goats: Lilia Hurtado

What better way to support our youth than to support these programs that teach ALL youth about responsibility, the real-life lessons of agriculture, (like how there often are uncontrollable misfortunes that you have to quickly adapt to), and about agriculture. I’m not sure whose quote this is but I love it, “We’re all involved in agriculture if we eat and wear clothes”.  Isn’t that the truth?  The Auction is supported by businesses or private individuals, or even buying groups that want to support the youth AND fill their freezers with the best quality beef, pork, lamb, goat, rabbit, & chickens available.  If you are looking for a bargain that’s not the intent. These kids spend a lot of money and time on raising their animals and the idea is that their money earned leaves them some leftover money to be able to save and use on something substantial. For our three girls, the funds raised are used to buy their own vehicles and save up for college.  It’s amazing how much pride they get knowing that ‘they’ were able to purchase a big ticket item with money they made themselves. It’s a drive they learn that allows them to be go-getters and want to achieve good things for themselves as they get older. 



You can help!

If this sounds intriguing to you then you can jump in on the fun!  If you live in Chico, it’s not too late! Simply use this link https://www.silverdollarfair.org/p/about/junior-livestock-auction-information

To learn more and fill out a simple form to get your bidding number for This Friday evening and Saturday’s auctions, (yes, this year there are two sales: a ‘Winners Circle’ Friday evening, May 24th at 4:00 and the regular sale Saturday, May 25th at 9:00). At the Silver Dollar Fair buyers are treated very well receiving free parking, endless free food and drink, and of course the very enjoyable conversations from fellow business owners, friends, and the hard-working kids! It’s a great networking gathering, and the fair management does a wonderful job soliciting your business support on a large screen and verbally. It’s a great way to connect with customers, friends, vendors, and the youth. If you live outside the Chico area, chances are you have a fair with a Jr. Livestock Auction in your area.  If you don’t think you’ll eat an entire animal, then find a friend or another business to go in with you. Or, you can simply support the child and sell back the animal so that it just becomes a donation.  There are many easy ways to support these events so I’d encourage you to look further into it.  

It’s time for me to hit my pillow so I’m all geared up for this exciting week ahead of us. We’ll be doing the swine shows, meat goat shows, market beef shows, dairy goat shows, and dairy cow shows.  We wish the Hurtado girls and all their fellow 4-H, FFA, and Grange friends the best of luck!  And…. I hope to see a few new faces supporting the Silver Dollar Jr. Livestock Auction! Maisie Jane’s will be out there looking to support several of these hard-working young adults and kids.  Good luck to them and congratulations on all your hard work’s accomplishments. YOU made it to fair! 

Many gatherings at the fair. In fact, Isabela, the oldest Hurtado daughter, and Papa Ben, Maisie Jane’s father are both ‘Fair babies’ and celebrate their birthday’s at the fair every year.

Many gatherings at the fair. In fact, Isabela, the oldest Hurtado daughter, and Papa Ben, Maisie Jane’s father are both ‘Fair babies’ and celebrate their birthdays at the fair every year.

I hope that after you read this you will act on one of the following:

*Spread the word about 4-H, FFA, and Grange so these programs continue to get utilized and more youth take advantage of these wonderful programs *that you’ll consider registering to be a buyer at the Jr. Livestock Auction in your local area or share with a business or individual that you feel would benefit and enjoy being part of this worthy cause in supporting our youth *Continue to be grateful and supportive consumers of all our bountiful agricultural products and ‘thank a farmer’ whether they are an established farm or an aspiring hard-working youth that are raising livestock and already contributing to being part of our food chain.


I look forward to seeing many of you out there this week at the Silver Dollar Fair- the wonderful families, the teachers, the exhibitors, and the supporters!  Here’s to a successful and safe fair season!

Happy Fair Season,

Maisie Jane and Her Nutty Team