It is one of the main events at the Washington Fair — the Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction, which will begin at noon Saturday.

It’s a Fair tradition. Our Fair cap is tipped to the generous buyers of the livestock. The supporters, some who buy at every Fair auction, always come through by paying above market prices to the farm youth who exhibit their livestock. We have heard from many of these young exhibitors over the years who will tell you the money they receive from the auction goes into their college savings accounts.

The auction in dollars is one of the bigger Fair income producers in adding to the local economy. The record gross was set in 2015 when the auction grossed $457,891. Last year’s gross was $450,573. The hog auction last year grossed $247,489 when 161 of the farm animals were sold. The steer auction grossed $172,940 when 42 steers were sold.

There are more hogs and steers this year so perhaps a new record will be set. The lamb and dairy auctions also contribute to the overall dollar total.

The livestock auction is a reward for the young exhibitors who raised and prepared the animals for showing and the auction. It’s a valuable learning experience — something they will remember the rest of their lives.

Bidders really are appreciated. They are among the faithful Fair supporters and make a major contribution to the overall success of the annual event.