SALEM, Ohio — Despite a sagging economy, young people from across the region pocketed an impressive $6.3 million this summer during county fair livestock auctions.
Their bankrolls are a result of, for some, a year-long livestock project’s successful completion. For others, such as those exhibiting poultry, the rewards came for only a couple of months of hard and sweaty work.
But regardless of how long the project may have lasted, the lessons in responsibility, determination, patience, and marketing projects are sure to be lifelong.
Farm and Dairy‘s summertime fair season coverage included 34 fairs in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. That’s two less than last year, accounting for some fairs who didn’t submit results in 2008.
Last year‘s sale receipts totaled more than $7.6 million, and we’re sure this year’s figures could have met that mark or been higher. However, Farm and Dairy‘s files are incomplete and missing overall sale totals from seven fairs, including three which ranked in the top 10 the past several years.
We’re sad we can’t put a higher-than-ever dollar figure in the pages of Farm and Dairy this fall, but we rely heavily on livestock sale committees to submit final data from each fair. As of presstime, some Extension offices and fair committees had not returned calls to provide this information.
Of the fairs reporting complete sale totals, the top-selling sale in 2008 was the Stark County Fair, where young people garnered more than $510,000 in sale bids.
Other fairs rounding out the top 10 were Knox County, fourth; Mahoning County, fifth; Portage County, sixth; Columbiana County, seventh; Holmes County, eighth; Guernsey County, ninth; and Geauga County, 10th.
The most outstanding bid per pound for any animal in Farm and Dairy‘s coverage area this season came in Washington County, Pa., where the young people are heftily rewarded for their projects.
Courtney Cowden’s grand champion lamb brought $62 per pound, and the reserve champion, shown by Megan Weinstock, earned $51 per pound.
Other grand champion lambs with high bids included Kaitlyn Jones, $21 per pound in Greene County, Pa.; Jacob Stitzlein, $20 per pound in Ashland County; and a slew of $15-per-pound bids belonging to Janelle Valdinger, Harrison County; Kristen Zukoff, Marshall County, W.Va.; Cole Lorenz in Tuscarawas County and Jessica Gutierrez at the Loudonville fair.
Reserve champions with bids worth mentioning include Karlie Hoy’s $25 per pound in Greene County; $16 per pound for Justin Martin in Lawrence County, Pa.; $15.50 for Emily Massie in Ashland County; and $15 per pound for Amy Metrick at the Butler Farm Show and Morgan Himes in Tuscarawas County.
Three new records were unofficially set in the grand champion steer category this summer.
One of those records went to the top-selling champion market steer in the region, shown at the Westmoreland County Fair. Colton Zundel earned a record and whopping $16.30 per pound for his champion beefer there.
Records were also set at the Butler Farm Show when Colt Filges fetched $8 per pound, and by Morgan Moore’s $7.75-per-pound steer in Portage County.
Other high-selling champion steers this season were Molly Henderson’s in Greene County, Pa., and Darcie Phillips’ in nearby Washington, Pa., where both ladies’ steers cashed in for $10 per pound.
Also worth mention were bids of $8.25 for Ethan Smith’s Guernsey County champion; $7.50 per pound for Scotty Gardner’s project in Fayette County, Pa; $6.85 per pound for Chad Raber’s steer in Columbiana County; and Rexx Peters’ $6.10 per pound in Tuscarawas County.
On the reserve champion column, top seller was the $6.50-per-pound steer raised by Sean Gallagher and shown in Westmoreland County, Pa.
Also faring well in reserve champion territory were Kyle Householder in Greene County, Pa., $5 per pound and Mike Wargo’s Geauga County runner-up at $4.75 per pound.
It was also a decent summer in market hog competition and sales, especially in Lawrence County, Pa., where Ryan Martin set a new grand champion hog record of $10 per pound.
Other fairs had fat bids, too, for their champions, including the top bid of $23 per pound for Megan Slates’ project in Washington County, Pa.
High bids also went to Shane Williams’ $12-per-pound hog in Marshall County, W.Va.; Kaci Himes’ $11-per-pound project in Tuscarawas County; Curtis Carpenter’s $9-per-pound hog in Knox County; and $8 bids to Malania Birney in Jefferson County; Taylor Howser in Fayette County, Pa.; Joey Espey in Westmoreland County, Pa.; and Nikki Genske in Geauga County.
On the reserve champion hog side of the board, the top bid in the region was earned by Rexx Peters in Tuscarawas County, where the project earned $15 per pound.
Others worth mention include Rachel Sturgeon, $11.50 in Washington County, Pa.; Cassidy Trowbridge, $10.25 in Marshall County, W.Va.; Jackie Thompson, $10, Lawrence County, Pa.; and Megan Iverson, $7 in Knox County.