By Hannah Thompson, Staff Writer
The junior livestock sale is a highlight of the week at any fair. Young showmen excitedly show off their year of hard work as they parade their animals through the ring, hoping to capture a high bid from a member of the crowd of local businesses and community members who are eager to contribute to the youth of their area.
For one Noble County youth, this year’s Noble County Junior Fair Sale held special significance. This year, Samantha Goodhart, a senior at Shenandoah High School, wasn’t hoping to garner a high price for her market steer just to invest further in her projects or save for college. Instead, Samantha decided to contribute half of her proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that provides programs and services to injured service members as they transition from active duty to civilian life.
Samantha chose the Wounded Warrior Project to honor her uncle, Dean Pearson, a Vietnam veteran.
“He has helped me with my animals for the past 8 years that I have been in 4-H,” Samantha said. “He is the kind of person that doesn’t want more than just a “thank you,” so I wanted to do something special for him.”
Samantha is a leader in her community, currently serving as the vice president of her FFA chapter, the 2012 Noble County Junior Fair Queen, the 2012 Noble County Cattlemen’s Association Beef Queen, and a member of the Noble County Junior Fair Board. She hopes that her donation will inspire other 4-H and FFA members.
“I wanted to set an example of giving back and make a statement that youth should contribute to their communities,” she said. “I think it’s important because we get so much community support, especially during the fair week. Local businesses attend the shows and sales, as well as sponsor awards.”
Samantha’s 1,188 pound market steer sold for $3,979.80 ($3.35 a pound) to Ruben, Delores and Kay Schafer of C & S Plumbing in Caldwell. A group of other area businesses and citizens including Adkins Timber Products, Inc., Barnesville-Woodsfield Veterinary, Becky Hall, Jamie Riley, Snook Consulting, Nell Baker, and Seneca Machine and Engineering also made donations, raising the total given to the Wounded Warriors Project to $2,879.80.
The sale, held on September 1, totaled a record-breaking $372,158.50, with 422 animals selling. Samantha also exhibited the Reserve Champion Market Steer, which was purchased by Total Control Solutions for $4.50 a pound.
When Samantha graduates in the spring, she plans to attend Ohio University Eastern and later transfer to The Ohio State University to study agriculture. As she nears the conclusion of her 4-H and FFA career, Samantha hopes she has made a positive impact on her community.
“She is trying to set the bar higher and be a role model for the younger FFA members as well as 4-H members,” Lisa Goodhart, Samantha’s mother, said. “Hopefully, she will be an inspiration to others to step up, reach out and give back.”