EAST AMWELL TWP. – Area 4-H club members are learning valuable skills including marketing, customer service, financial planning and accounting as they prepare their projects to be offered up for bid at the two auctions to be held as part of the Hunterdon County 4-H and Agricultural Fair.

The 4-HFresh! Farm to Table Auction comes Saturday, Aug. 27 and features 4-Hers auctioning off their projects, including live chickens, farm-fresh eggs, hand-made goat milk soap, bales of hay, artwork and more. The popular Thanksgiving Day turkey offering is again offered. It lets buyers order a turkey a 4-H member will raise in time for slaughter and processing just before the holiday.

The annual Invitational Market Lamb Show and Sale will both be Wednesday, Aug. 24. Only lambs earning a blue ribbon for “excellent” can be sold.

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The evening auction is a tradition going back to the beginning of the Hunterdon fair and before that, Flemington Fair for decades. The sale is anticipated to average $4 to $7 per pound (live weight). The weight will be between 85 and 140 pounds and anything paid above the market price is considered a contribution to 4-H youth development and may be tax deductible.

The Farm to Table Auction is in its third year. It “lets area residents and businesses embrace the entrepreneurial philosophy of buying locally raised and produced items from local 4-H members and supporting the next generation of business owners and innovators,” according to Beth (Muhs) Kelly of Alexandria Township, the head organizer.

Last year’s auction was “a huge success,” she said, generating $4,000 for 4-Hers and their programs, thanks to successful bidders such as Dave Everitt of Everitt Equipment, she said. He purchased the 4-H Hunterdon Homesteader’s hand-crafted chicken coop.

Donations from local businesses and families such as the Beatty family of Bethlehem Township and the Howell Living History Farm in Hopewell Township were also auctioned off to benefit 4-H clubs and created a convivial, community atmosphere in the crowd. Purina continues to support the auction in addition to several Hunterdon businesses, including Delaware Valley Feed & Farm Supply, Pamby’s Ice Cream and Frenchtown Hardware, Kelly said.

A list of many of the items to be auctioned can see seen online at 4hfresh.org. The sale begins at 5 p.m. with registration and the bidding will start at 5:30, in the Goat Barn at the Fairgrounds near Ringoes.

For more information, contact Beth Kelly 908-528-4026. For a complete schedule of fair activities, go to HunterdonCountyFair.com