This year's Seneca County Junior Fair livestock auction raised nearly $70,000 more than last year's sale, according to preliminary figures.
The two-day sale, including commercial and farmers' bids, generated $396,238, according to preliminary totals. Preliminary totals for the past five years were $367,998 in 2005; $355,076 in 2006; $377,340 in 2007; $352,425 in 2008; and $328,408 in 2009.
Scott Kiesel, a member of the livestock sale committee and co-coordinator of the Seneca County Junior Fair Livestock Buyers' Group with his wife, Stacey, said he thinks the increase was due to higher commodity prices - or base bids representing market prices - and an increase in commercial bids. A slight boost to the commodity prices and a slight boost to the commercial bids makes a big difference, he said.
Kiesel said he didn't have a goal for what the sale would raise, and officials were hoping the sale total would be better than last year. Hopefully the economy is recovering a little, he said.
Kiesel said there were a lot of new 4-H members, which brings a different set of people to the sale, and sale officials always are trying to find people to support the sale. He estimated the sale had 100 new bidders.
"That helped," he said.
Kiesel bids on behalf of the buyers' group, which asks businesses or individuals who cannot attend the sale or who do not have the amount of money required to purchase an animal to donate money to support the Junior Fair exhibitors.
The buyers' group total increased by several thousand dollars over a year ago. It raised close to $18,000 this year, he said.
"We had quite a few new people," he said.