Auction causes range of emotions

RICKREALL -- On the outside, Owen Jones looked calm, cool and collected.

Jones was moments away from leading his steer into the 4-H and FFA youth market auction during the Polk County Fair on Saturday afternoon.

Jones, 11, is in his third year with 4-H, but this was his first time bringing a steer to auction.

Although he has been through the auction process before, the reality of having to sell an animal he has watched over for months left a mix of emotions.

"It's really sad," Jones said. "You can do all you want to prepare, but it doesn't really help."

But the auction was also a proud moment, especially for Owen's mother, Michelle.

"He's learned responsibility and how to take ownership of something," she said. "He spent three or four hours a day cleaning, feeding and taking care of the steer. The ownership you get from that is something I don't think a lot of kids his age have."

Despite the bittersweet afternoon, Owen said he wouldn't trade his experience for anything.

"If people are thinking of joining 4-H, they should because it's really fun," he said.

For more coverage from the Polk County Fair, see next week's Itemizer-Observer.

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