Grays Harbor Youth Livestock Auction set for Aug. 13 in Elma

With the Grays Harbor County Fair, which is set to begin on Aug. 10, less than a week away, organizers are hard at work putting together last-minute details for the biggest event in the county.

However, while fairgoers might be drawn to the allure of the carnival rides or the high-profile live entertainment, there’s another event set to take place at the fairgrounds that might draw some intrigue.

The 2022 Grays Harbor Youth Livestock Auction is set to take place next weekend during the fair. The event, which has been supporting 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) livestock projects since 1989, is more than just your typical animal auction.

Jill Werner, who works as an organizer of the auction, says the event is about teaching kids in 4-H and FFA programs proper strategies in raising animals and marketing to the community.

“The goal of the event is to showcase the education taught to the youth of Grays Harbors County, who are involved in these organizations,” Werner explained. “These students have been learning about the production and marketing of their animals while building strong relationships within our community. It also provides a positive environment that invests our youth into the future of agriculture.”

Werner continued by noting that all animals that are raised for the auction are strictly used for food. Any animals that aren’t sold to the community at the auction tend to get sold to commercial food outfitters. Participants at the auction can bid on varieties of quality livestock ranging from cows, pigs, lambs, turkeys, and goats among other things.

While most of the animals are provided to the students at a specific age for them to raise, some programs available, such as the breeding program, allow students to raise their animals from birth. Students spent lots of time learning how to properly raise their livestock based on the habitats they require and the food that best suits their growth and quality.

While an average amount of participation in the auction typically is around 80-90 registered students, Werner says that this year is looking to be a big uptick from the past.

“Last year, we had 81 registered students participating in the livestock auction. This year, we have 96 students that are currently registered but there could be more when the final numbers are tallied on Aug. 9 after weigh-ins and preliminary standards for the animals are checked,” Werner said.

When asked about where the money that is spent buying the livestock at the auction goes toward, Werner says it is up to the students. She says that some of the students use the money they made from selling their livestock for future projects, while others use it to build savings for their future college education.

According to last year’s report, the 2021 Grays Harbor Youth Livestock Auction raised more than $248,000 in animal sales. Werner says with the number of students this year, that number could easily be higher.

For people who are interested in attending the 2022 Grays Harbor Youth Livestock Auction, the event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 2-5 p.m. at the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds, in Elma.

For more information, people should contact Werner via email at or on the Grays Harbor Youth Livestock Auction page on Facebook.