For 40 years, Bud Brown served as the treasurer of the Waupaca County Market Animal Committee.
“It started in 1973, which was the year I moved to Waupaca,” he said.
Brown moved to the area to manage the Production Credit Association’s office in Waupaca. He became a part of the committee, at the recommendation of his employer, as a way to make connections in the community.
With his business background, becoming the committee’s treasurer was a natural fit for him.
“I maintained the books all those years,” Brown said. “I always did an annual report, showing how every penny was spent. I felt itwas something the treasurer should do.”
He said the focus of the county’s Market Animal Committee is education.
“The vast amount of participants are parents of kids who sell animals. The kids are required to keep records about the animals as they raise them and to participate in educational workshops through the year,” Brown said.
The educational aspect allows children to sell their animals at the Waupaca County Fair, if they meet all the requirements, he said.
The sale always takes place on the Friday evening of the county fair.
“One of the requirements is the kids must contact three potential buyers before the fair. That has brought in buyers that are not related to agriculture,” he said. “We get business from throughout the county and northeastern Wisconsin, but the majority are from the Waupaca County area.”
Having a market animal sale at the county fair was the idea of Harle Dieter, who served as the county’s 4-H agent from 1973 to 1975.
“The general public doesn’t realize the rules and regulations,” Brown said of the Market Animal Committee.
He said about 98 percent of the bidders at the sale are businesses.
“Obviously, a lot of businesses are agriculturally related and have been great supporters over the years,” Brown said.
He said Niemuth’s Steak & Chop Shop has always been a strong supporter of the market animal sale and of the market animal carcass show, the only show which takes place after the county fair is over.
The show is held at Niemuth’s on the Tuesday night after the fair ends.
A meat scientist from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Platteville or Madison judges the carcasses and presents ribbons to the children.
“The kids are allowed to come in and see the animal they raised. If is not a blue ribbon carcass, they learn what they could have done differently,” Brown said.
It is another part of the educational aspect of the program.
As the treasurer of the committee, Brown also worked closely with agents Greg Blonde, Penny Tank and Connie Abert, in Waupaca County’s UW-Extension office.
Brown says he is a strong supporter of 4-H.
Growing up on a small dairy farm in Outagamie County, he remembers being involved in FFA and showing animals at the Outagamie County Fair.
“At that point, there was no market animal sale. I showed dairy,” Brown said, recalling the one year he was fortunate to get picked to go to the Wisconsin State Fair.
After he graduated from Freedom High School, he went to UW-River Falls and graduated from there in 1971.
A resident of Weyauwega since 1995, Brown says what he enjoyed most about his involvement on the Waupaca County Market Animal Committee were the people he met from throughout the county and the educational part of it for the children.
“I can name the kids who used the money to go to college,” he said.
When he was up for re-election last fall on the committee, he felt it was time to do something else.
“After a while, it becomes a part of you,” Brown said. “I guess I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the Market Animal Committee.”