RANDOLPH, Ohio – Tierney Ruehr promised a record would be set, even before the steer sale began.
In just her second year showing a steer, she took grand champion honors at this year’s Portage County Fair, and she celebrated by contacting every person she could think of who might drop $8,000 to buy her Shorthorn.
Just as much as she’d wanted that top spot, she also wanted to break the record steer price set two years ago.
She delivered that promise at the Aug. 27 sale.
Portage County Commissioner Chris Smeiles set the new record with his winning $5.75-a-pound bid for Ruehr’s 1,377-pound champion. That was a quarter higher than the earlier record.
For the third year in a row, the overall sale total also set a record. This time it was $285,877, a jump of more than $34,000 from 2004.
More steers. Naomi Pirogowicz took home $2.10 a pound for her 1,287-pound reserve champion crossbred steer. Duma Meats was the winning bidder.
Cristin Day switched from having the champion steer last year to having the champion carcass this year. This marks the fourth consecutive year, the Day family name has been in the steer champion circle. Moser Construction paid $3.20 a pound for Day’s 927-pound champion carcass.
Robert Sly of Reduction Engineering once again bought Tim Wyszynski’s champion steer carcass, but this year it was his 784-pound reserve champ for $2.90 a pound.
Seventy-seven steers added $158,826.85 to the overall sale total and averaged $1.58 a pound with champions and $1.49 without.
Breed champions were: dairy, Kristen Shircliff; Maine, Tim Wyszynski; Angus, Katy Shircliff; Hereford, Mitch Kisamore; and other breeds, Cristin Day.
Hog highlights. In just his second year showing, Mitch Kisamore already picked up on the Kisamore winning tradition. His 280-pound champion hog sported fuchsia-colored lipstick imprints on its back after fair board member Bonnie Schuck won – or lost, depending on how you look at it – the annual kiss-a-pig contest.
Country Elegance of Edinburg, Ohio, paid $7.50 a pound for Kisamore’s winner, beating last year’s champion bid by almost $2 a pound.
Next in the ring was Chris Wyszynski and her 263-pound reserve champion, which brought $6.80 a pound from Hargett’s Farm Shop and Action Auto Body.
Another record was set when the Titko family bid $7.50 a pound for Kayla Titko’s 190-pound champion hog carcass. The previous record was $7 and set last year.
DRS Services paid $4 a pound for Megan Smith’s 184-pound reserve champion carcass, down $3 a pound from last year’s bid.
Outshining all these prices, however, was a $13-a-pound bid from 21st Century Framing LLC for Rebecca Taylor’s 267-pound hog.
It didn’t stop there, though. Next in the ring was Robby Taylor, and 21st Century Framing also bought his 280-pound animal for $7.50 a pound.
Neither of these was a record; that was set in 1988 with a $26.50-a-pound price.
Hog numbers were up from last year’s 153 animals to 164 this year. The sale totaled $85,671.35, averaging $1.87 a pound with champions and $1.77 without.
‘Supposed to hurt.’ Auctioneer John Kiko told buyers, “It’s supposed to hurt for a little while,” and that was true for the lamb carcass sale.
Last year’s champion lamb carcass brought in a record $12 a pound, but getting the price up to $4.50 was rough this year.
After a few slow bids, Kiko’s gavel finally fell and Tierney Ruehr received $4.50 a pound from Leigh and Anita Herington for the 73-pound champion carcass.
The reserve spot didn’t fare any better. Kiko Meats paid $4 a pound for Molly McCully’s 81-pound reserve lamb carcass, down $5.50 a pound from last year.
Champion lamb exhibitor Cristin Day, however, grinned when a $10-a-pound bid came from Bob and Terry Doty.
Megan Smith received $6.50 a pound for her 129-pound reserve champion lamb. The buyers were Chris Smeiles and Chuck Keiper, both Portage County commissioners.
Thirty-nine lambs sold for $11,843.35, averaging $2.15 with champions and $1.77 without.
Goat repeats. The goat sale looked a lot like last year’s. Both champion and reserve prices were identical to last year, as well as the buyers and one of the exhibitors.
The new face to this year’s sale was Stephen Corbin, who showed the 88-pound champion goat. It sold for $550 to Miner’s Tractor in Edinburg, Ohio.
Shannon Gallagher, last year’s champion exhibitor, sold her 86-pound reserve champion for $375 to Leppo Rents and Bobcat.
Six goats sold for $1,820, averaging $303.33 with champions and $223.75 without.
Small animals soar. Small animal numbers were high this year, with 58 more entries than last year.
Twenty-one more chicken pens sold this year, totaling 95 pens and $13,165. Averages were $125.38 with champions and $116.65 without.
“This is your champion year,” John Kiko told bidders before auctioning Tyler Gallagher’s 24.75-pound champion chicken pen.
Gallagher was also this year’s super-stock champion at the All-American Soap Box Derby Championship in July.
Portage County Farm Bureau picked up his champion pen for $700, down $250 from last year’s record bid.
Next, Jacob Ryan sold his 25.5-pound reserve chickens for $450 to Wise Greenhouse.
Ducks, turkeys up, too. Two years ago, no ducks showed up on the auction block. This year, however, 25 of them sold and added $2,715 to the sale total. Averages were $100.56 with champions and $76.60 without.
Buddy’s Auctions set a record with its $575 bid for Rebecca Wise’s 6.75-pound grand champion. The previous record was $500 and set in 2000.
Hyde’s Automotive paid $225 for Jamie Roosa’s 6.75-pound reserve duck.
After a record $1,000 was set last year for the champion turkey, Stouffer Realty Inc. was determined to beat it this year. Although the gavel fell at $400 for Sara Cross’s 29.75-pound champion bird, Stouffer Reality later upped its bid to $1,100.
The reserve price fell this year by $125. Portage County Farm Bureau paid $300 for Angela Croft’s 26-pound reserve champion turkey.
Twenty more turkeys were exhibited this year and the overall turkey sale total jumped to $9,935. The 55 turkeys averaged $165.58 with champions and $147.16 without.
Rabbit numbers. Dale Graves and Alesha Wise stayed at the top with their rabbits.
First, Dale Graves sold his champion pen for $300 to Pettigrew Feed and Hardware. Next, Alesha Wise sold her reserve pen to Portage County Rabbit Breeders for $425.
Eight rabbit pens sold for $1,900, averaging $211.11 with champions and $167.86 without.
Kiko Auctioneers volunteered its services for the sale.
(Reporter Kristy Hebert welcomes feedback by phone at 800-837-3419, ext. 23 or by e-mail at email@example.com.)