With the annual Citrus County Fair scrapped this week due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, dozens of Citrus County youths are missing out on the chance to show off their months-long projects, which included raising a variety of livestock.

Even the annual auction was in jeopardy.

Not so anymore after careful planning by the Citrus County Fair Board, but this year’s auction is certainly going to be much more technology driven with the assistance of Dudley Auction.

“We would all prefer the normal live auction to show animals, compete in other contests that a normal fair consists of,” said Fair Manager Hal Porter. “An online catalog is unprecedented at the fair, but the livestock committee has done all they can do to make it inclusive to limit the number of people around each other.”

But the online event wouldn’t be possible without Dudley’s Auction, Porter said.

“We’re very fortunate we’ve got Dudley’s Auction to step in and catalog the livestock to make this happen,” Porter said. “The response from community about how can we help has been great. The children are getting a good option to consider; they do not have to participate, but this is another avenue we felt could help children still succeed with projects.”

Part of the hope, Porter said, is that the youths who have spent the better part of the past six to nine months raising livestock will have a chance to recoup their expenditures on the animals, their feed and other miscellaneous expenses incurred with such an endeavor.

“They have a certain amount of time and dollars in these projects,” he explained.

Scott Adams, former county commission, knows all too well what it’s like for to invest time and money in a livestock project. From the time he was in fifth grade through high school, Adams found himself in the livestock arena showing steers and other animals.

“A lot of these kids, it is there first business transaction in life, so it’ll be a big learning experience to them.”

It might not the ideal learning experience either, Adams said.

But he and his wife, Pam, want to see the youths succeed. That’s why, he said, he’s encouraging business owners and individuals, despite the recent downturn in the economy, help make sure the children are made whole in their projects.

Adams, however, plans to put his money where his mouth is. He and his wife have agreed to pledge $10 for every animal in the livestock auction. Every small amount adds up quickly with add-on donations, he said. It doesn’t mean spending a lot to purchase an animal.

“It’s a sad situation,” he said. “A lot of their parents spent money out of their own pocket. We’d love to let people to try and helping them.”

It’s important to assist the youths, and their families, at such a critical time.

“The key, right here, is a chance to give the kids an opportunity to break even (on their projects)” Adams said. “It’s going to be a little tricky for them, because prices are down right now.”

Adams also doesn’t want to see the children lose hope.

“What we don’t want is to lose (children’s) interest in (the fair),” he said. “We’d love to encourage people to try and help these kids out.”

The online auction will be start at 7 a.m. Tuesday and end at 6 p.m. Friday, according to Dudley’s Auction website — www.dudleysauction.com/concrete5-8.2.0/index.php/auctions/2020/march/27.

Buyers will be charged a 3% processing fee when using a credit card for the auction. For those would like to pay by cash or check, email citruslivestockauction@gmail.com. Payment will be made directly to Dudley's Auction, and will be collected at the completion of the sale.

This is a soft close ending auction, meaning if a bid is placed within the last 5 minutes of the sale, the bidding for that lot will be extended by another few minutes.

Exhibitors, according to Dudley’s Auction, will not be charged for online auction services, which are being donated to benefit Citrus County Youth Livestock Exhibitors.

The winning bid is for the price of the livestock only and does not include processing. If you are in need of a processor, processing coordination/information will be handled by Larry Rooks at 352-302-7910 and Kim Whitton at 352-212-0653 once payment for livestock has been received.

Animals being sold as-is, where-is, Dudley’s website state. All sales are final.

For information about the online auction, visit https://citruscountyfair.com or


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