XENIA — Single-handedly taking over the task of managing livestock sales was natural for her.
Sarah Young, a senior at Ohio State University, works in the Greene County Fairgrounds’ administration office part-time during the school year. But it’s a full-time job when summertime comes along.
This is Young’s third fair working in the fair office — but she’s been coming to the fair for 21 years.
“When my grandfather Nicholas Carrera was running for political offices he had a booth at the fair. I was in my mom’s belly coming to the fair before I was born,” she said.
Young’s 4-H career began in Kindergarten when she was a clover bud. She took indoor projects, like cooking and photography, and she showed market hogs. That’s helping her a lot in her current role.
“It’s natural for me. This is something I understand well, (what it’s like) being a 4-H member going through it,” she said.
Organizing the livestock sales involves everything from making sure addresses are correct for last year’s buyers, to mailing out reminder postcards, to handing out bidding numbers, to registering new buyers.
Or, “everything sales,” as Young sums it up.
The “everything” task requires a head start. Young began the process during the school year, going through past buyers’ applications.
“We try to get our bidders’ cards out by July 15, so the buyers know their bidders’ numbers and can get those to the kids.”
According to Young, handling livestock sales requires constant communication with individuals throughout the county.
“A lot of people get letters from kids and want to become buyers,” Young said. “Or, some 4-H parents have never gone through livestock auctions before.”
Young doesn’t just coordinate with individuals, but businesses, too.
“You get to know your community, which is great,” Young said.
Times have changed, Young added, which she says makes livestock sales a little more complex.
“In the day you used to bid on one person, like Walmart might bid $250 on one kid’s animal. Now they’re splitting it up to $25 on 10 different kids,” she explained. “It makes sales complex, makes it difficult for people to understand on the business side and on the 4-H and FFA side.”
But for Young, livestock sales is just a minor piece of the work she’s doing in the fair office.
Among her tasks, Young manages the fairgrounds website and social media accounts, updates banners for sponsors and helps with advertising, assists people who come into the office daily, sends out mass mailing with the assistance of her co-workers, creates documents for the fair and more.
“It’s a very busy time,” Young said, explaining that working in the office is always a team effort for the small staff.
During the school year, Young helped organize camping spots for the Hamvention weekend held in May. She also rewrote and retyped the entire 64-page fair book.
“She did a fantastic job with inserting some new pages, and well, I just have to say, this lady has more talent than anyone can imagine,” Esther Pierson recently wrote in an update on the fairgrounds website.
Young claims her life-long involvement in the Greene County Fair has helped shape who she is today.
“It’s exposed me to a lot of different experiences … Everything from teaching me communication skills to exposing me to a lot of people in the community that I wouldn’t have had the advantage of meeting,” Young said.
The Xenia High School grad and former Junior Fair Board secretary is studying public affairs at OSU, exploring her interest in local government. She said she might like to come back to Greene County when she graduates, and hopes there will be chances to volunteer at the fair in the future.
For those interested in becoming buyers, Young says it’s not too late to sign up. Sign-ups are available until the night of the sale. Call Young at the fair office at 937-372-8621.
“Come in and sign up to support the youth and livestock sales,” she said.
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.