Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress
This year's Cherokee County Hay Show & Sale, held Tuesday at the Cherokee County Exposition Center in Jacksonville, raised approximately $14,000, part of which will benefit a scholarship fund for county students.
“We've held the hay show for many years – approximately 30,” said Roland Adams, who is co-chair of the local Chamber of Commerce's agri-business committee, “and the show is about several things, but the most important is the Cherokee Scholarship Fund.”
Half goes to this fund, while the remaining half is split between the Cherokee County Soil & Water Conservation program and the Cherokee County Exposition Center, which is home to various programs like the county fair, according to the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.
Tuesday's event, catered by Stacy's Barbecue, featured an auction of 27 hay samples. Charles Jasper was named Grand Champion Hay Producer, with a hay sale of $1,350, while Reserve Grand Champion honoree Hershel Garner's hay sold for $575.
The annual program focuses on those individuals “who grow hay for their own use or for sale,” giving them an opportunity to have their hay tested for free when they submit samples for the show, Adams said, adding that blue ribbon-quality hay is auctioned.
“It's a good program, and we get some really good support from the area feed stores and those who are interested in the sale,” he said, noting that 165 people attended the event.
“We're really proud of how well we did, especially with the reduction in growth of hay in this part of the country – we don't have many (local) producers grow hay,” he said.