Big bids for rabbits at Washington Fair

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WASHINGTON, Pa. – Pound for pound, if a young person wants to profit from a 4-H market project in Washington County, the choice should be rabbits.

With only 15 market pens on the auction block at Saturday’s Junior Fair Market Livestock Sale, the bunnies brought in the bucks, netting nearly $4,000 in sales.

An even dozen of those pens were then donated back to the Washington County 4-H Scholarship Fund and grabbed an additional $1,170 for the cause.

As the aggressive bids rose, the smile grew wider on the face of Eddie Moyer, who saw Washington County officials Commissioner Bracken Burns and Sheriff Larry Maggi raise their bid to $800 for his pen of grand champion meat rabbits.

“It took two of them to beat me out,” laughed fair board member Dick Horstman of Horstman Concessions who was the backup bidder on the grand champion and the buyer of the reserve grand champion pen.

Horstman bid $500 for the trio raised by Michael Toth.

Hog auction. The nearly 12-hour sale opened in the morning with 169 hogs led by Kaylea Ashby’s 223-pound grand champion gilt.

John Kerr and Kurt Katchmark of Hargus Creek Drilling of Waynesburg set the standard with a winning bid of $6.50 a pound. The hog was donated back to the county’s 4-H Scholarship Fund and netted an additional $2.60 a pound on resale.

The reserve grand champion hog, at 235 pounds, was raised and shown by Kimberly Minor, and purchased by Barbara Curry of Recmix, Canonsburg, Pa., for $4.50 a pound.

With a boost from the grand champions as well as $2-3 range bids for weight division champions, market hogs for the sale averaged $1.76 a pound.

Among those division champions was McGuffey FFA’s Jodie Chapman who took the Division IV reserve champion ribbon for her 255-pound market hog. But she also brought home grand champion honors in market lambs and market steers.

Her final market project was a goat, and she donated 10 percent of the proceeds from the sale of her four animals, more than $750, to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Market goats. In the market goat auction, it was the Miles sisters who took top honors with their wethers.

Shannon Miles sold her 100-pound grand champion to Sam and Sandra Sarnicke of McMurray, Pa., for $11 a pound. Abby Miles’ 101-pound reserve grand champion went to fair ride vendor J&J Amusements for $9 a pound. Both animals were resold to benefit the 4-H Scholarship Fund.

A total of 15 market goats were sold, averaging $4.16 a pound.

Chapman led the last two sales of the day.

Her 128-pound grand champion market lamb got a $12 a pound bid from Larry Delsignore of Del-Sir Supply of Meadowlands. Her 1269- pound grand champion Angus steer was purchased by First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Greene County for $4 a pound

The reserve grand champion market lamb, weighing 124 pounds and owned by Megan Winnett, was purchased by Michael E. Kusturiss of Kusturiss and Associates of Canonsburg, Pa., for $7 a pound. A total of 104 lambs were sold, averaging $2.05 per pound.

Market steers. The 1,269-pound reserve grand champion market steer, owned by Shannon Miles, was purchased by Vaughn and Cheryl Johnston of Washington Rotating. Long-time supporters of the steer sale, the Johnstons paid $2.35 a pound.

A total of 63 market steers were sold, averaged $1.39 for the sale.

Proceeds of the steer sale, however, were raised above and beyond when Consol Energy added 10 cents per pound to the purchase price of every steer sold, with exception of the grand and reserve champions.

That added an average of $108.10 to the purchase price, and Consol presented a check to the fair sale for $6,600. Consol made a donation of $1,500 to the Junior Livestock Committee and a donation of $1,000 to the Washington County 4-H Horse program for ring maintenance and construction.

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