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Klamath County 4-H is pressing forward with plans to host its annual livestock sale August 2, despite the cancellation of the Klamath County Fair.

Participants will still show their animals and projects in-person at the fairgrounds, but it will not be open to the public.

This year, the program is offering an online bidding option for the auction, in order to keep the number of people inside the event center below the 250 maximum for gatherings in that space. For those who still want to attend, chairs and auctioneers will be spread out to maintain social distancing.

Program coordinator Traci Reed described efforts to host the events while also complying with public health standards to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for those involved.

“We’re trying to make accommodations for everything,” she said. “If you don’t want to come, you don't have to come.”

Kids involved in non-animal projects have the option to drop off their entries with an explainer for judges, or sit across an eight-foot long table from a judge.

For livestock shows, each animal will be in their own building. That means groups of kids, parents and judges will stay with their own group and don’t mix. The kids will show and go while adults stay with the animals. While Reed said other counties are having the kids take their animals home at night and bring them back, she said that’s not reasonable for how far away some families live here.

Reed said it’s just as important as ever to have the livestock sale this year to encourage people to buy local, humanely raised meat.

Although she was concerned that students would drop out and sell off their animals due to COVID-19, she said only a few kids left the program.

“We’re going to have a full load,” she said of this year’s auction. “We hope people can come and support the auction or go online and support the auction because the kids have stuck it out.”

Online bidding registration is open, and the site will be updated with photos.

This year the sales committee is also adding a community buyer who will take requests from people in the community who don’t want to or don’t know how to bid on their own.