Ashtabula County buyers set new cheese, turkey sale records

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JEFFERSON, Ohio – Mild temperatures, free doughnuts and drinks and more than 200 chances to support the county’s youth were enough to keep the MAC Arena packed during nearly all of Ashtabula County’s annual junior fair livestock sale Aug. 9.

More than 125 buyers’ competing bids elevated sale totals to a record $152,359.81, topping last year’s sale by more than $3,000.

New records. Renaissance Nutrition set a new record when it purchased Junior Fair King Bobby Keep’s best of show cheese basket. The 13-pound daily average basket sold for $850.

The previous record was $600, set in 2001.

The basket contained an equivalent in cheese of the amount that would have been produced by the average one-day production of the dairy cow entered in the cheese competition.

Keep’s cow was the grand champion Holstein and supreme champion of the junior fair dairy show.

Tyler Polchin’s reserve champion basket sold for $300 to Cherry Valley Processing.

Five cheese baskets sold for a total of $2,275, averaging $575 with champions and $375 without.

Talkin’ turkey. It was also a record year for grand champion turkey project exhibitor Jon Benton.

Alan Burhenne Auction Service paid a whopping $25 per pound for the 27-pound entry to total $675, then turned and donated the bird back for resale. The previous record of $644 was set in 1998.

Benton also won reserve best of show honors.

The animals that receive the best of show titles are the top two animals in each species, based solely on conformation.

Champion project honors rewards the junior fair member for knowledge of his animal, showmanship skills and the animal’s market placing.

Best of show honors in the turkey show went to Evan Gruskiewicz, who sold his project for $6 a pound to Bob Lautanen Trucking.

Samantha Benton and Kyle Lindow tied for the reserve champion exhibitor banner.

Benton sold her project for $12 a pound to Saybrook Feed and Garden in Ashtabula, which donated the bird back for resale.

Lindow sold his for $9 a pound to Bob Burnett of Chapman’s Food Service.

Turkey showmanship honors went to Jon Benton, Gruskiewicz and Dustin Wolf.

There were 10 turkeys sold, with two resales, for a total of $2,216. Species average was $10.58 a pound with champions and $3.42 without.

Small animals. Grand champion market chicken exhibitor Lowell Ruple sold his 12.1-pound pen for $27.50 a pound to Ryan Heating and Cooling for a total of $332.75.

Reserve champion exhibitor James Anderson sold his 9.8-pound pen for $27.50 a pound as well, to Colebrook Elevator for a total of $269.50.

Best of show winner Seth Ruple sold his 11.4-pound pen for $15 a pound to Chapman’s Food Service.

There were four pens of chickens sold for a total of $875.55. Species average was $23.33 a pound with champions and $11 without.

The Northeast Ohio Rabbit Fanciers bought Alison Stone’s pen of three meat rabbits for $27.50 a pound at a total of $371.25.

Stone grabbed grand champion exhibitor and reserve best of show honors.

Reserve champion exhibitor Cassie Swango sold her 9-pound pen for $12.50 a pound to Chapman’s Food Service, totaling $112.50.

Best of show winner Michael Anderson sold his 11.5-pound pen for $12.50 a pound to Saybrook Feed and Garden.

Four pens of rabbits sold for a total of $722.50. Species average was $17.50 a pound with champion and $10 without.

Goats, feeders. Becky Betteridge sold her 55-pound market goat to Ken’s Quality Meats and Sausage Shop in Ashtabula for $2.50 a pound. Betteridge garnered grand champion exhibitor honors.

Reserve champion exhibitor and best of show winner Benjamin Ruple sold his 81-pounder for $6.75 a pound to Ruple Timber Company and the Roadhouse Brown Derby in Willoughby.

Reserve best of show winner Jake Perts sold his 62-pound goat for $3 a pound to John and Bonnie Miller of Thompson.

There were five goats sold for a total of $1,166.95. Species average was $4.08 a pound with champions and $2.55 without.

Lindsey Hurst repeated last year’s performance when she returned to the winner’s circle with the grand champion dairy feeder exhibitor ribbon. Hurst sold her 714-pound calf to K & S Electric and Maintenance for $1.10 a pound, less than her 2001 bid of $1.45 a pound.

Not far behind was Lisa Hurst’s 793-pound reserve champion exhibitor project, which sold for 90 cents a pound to Marous Farms.

Best of show winner Terry Woodin sold his 724-pounder for 70 cents a pound to Richard Moody. Reserve best of show winner Kyle Hass sold his 564-pound calf for 90 cents a pound to Austinburg Mill.

There were 36 dairy feeders sold with one resale for a total of $16,614.32. Average was 90 cents a pound with champions and 81 cents without.

Showmanship honors went to Jake Rice and Lindsey Hurst.

Beef projects. In a slow bidding war that increased by nickels from the get-go, Universal Disposal of Chardon remained standing when the gavel hit the block for the sale of Rachel Furman’s 1,307-pound best of show steer project.

The winners paid $2.50 a pound for Furman’s steer, which also helped her win grand champion exhibitor honors. Furman moved up one spot from last year’s reserve best of show standing.

Continuing the anticipation with nickel bids, Thorne’s BiLo supermarket outbid Colebrook Elevator to win reserve champion exhibitor Miranda Westfall’s steer for $2.60 a pound.

Garrett Jerome’s 1,298-pound reserve best of show project sold for $1.75 a pound to Thompson Drag Raceway.

In the beef carcass competition, Tyler and Dustin Brown of Dorset took top honors.

Tyler’s 406-pound best of show carcass sold for $3.40 a pound to Jim Doan Trucking of Bristolville. Dustin’s 350-pound hanging half brought a dime less per pound from Darrin Demshar, still better than the bid of $1.30 from Brown’s 2002 reserve best of show.

There were 49 steers sold for a total of $88,422.94. Species average was $2.28 a pound with champions and $1.40 without.

There were five beef carcasses sold for a total of $5,787.90. Average was $3.35 a pound with champion and $2.67 without.

Hogs. Market hog exhibitors spread the winning around, with no member getting double awards. Instead, two young ladies repeated their 2001 exhibitor awards.

Erica Reiter’s 243-pound bluebutt helped her clinch grand champion exhibitor honors. Reiter sold her project for $4 a pound to Thorne’s BiLo supermarket of Jefferson, the same price and buyer as last time around.

Reserve champion exhibitor Danielle Lautanen sold her 238-pound porker for $2.50 a pound to Smolen Engineering, garnering 30 cents more than last year’s bid.

Austinburg Carter Lumber bought the 229-pound best of show hog owned by Laura Owen for $1.55 a pound.

The Wire Shop came out on top in a spirited bidding war to win Christen Braat’s 259-pound reserve best of show hog. The buyer paid $4.10 a pound.

Sarah Johns and Matt Johns of Dorset took best of show and reserve best of show honors, respectively, in the hog carcass competition.

Sarah sold her 147-pound carcass to Ted Norris of Ashtabula for $2.10 a pound. Matt sold his 146-pounder to Phil Dietrich of Jefferson for $1.95 a pound.

There were 69 hogs sold for a total of $29,738.60. Average was $3.04 a pound with champions and $1.64 without. Five hog carcasses sold for $1,578, averaging $2.02 a pound with champions and $1.87 without.

Hog showmanship honors went to Matt Smith, Kelly Burdick, Erica Reiter, Josh Pilson, Jackie Smith, Sarah Savel, Christen Braat and Nicole Acieno.

Lambs. First-year lamb exhibitor Matthew Bogue of Ashtabula walked away with best of show and grand champion exhibitor honors in the market competition.

His 131-pound Suffolk brought $4.35 a pound from Thorne’s BiLo. Bogue also won inexperienced showman honors.

Catherine Benton returned to hold her ground in the reserve best of show category, which she also won last year. Jefferson Golden Dawn bought the project for $4.95 a pound.

Benton also won reserve champion exhibitor honors and experienced showmanship.

Benton took best of show honors in the carcass competition, garnering $3 a pound for the 76-pounder from Midway Pontiac Chevrolet and Buick in Orwell.

Western Reserve Animal Clinic in Pierpont paid $2.45 a pound for Kyle Wright’s 58-pound reserve best of show carcass.

There were five lambs sold, with one resale, for a total of $2,404.80. Average was $4.65 a pound with champions and $3.05 without. Three lamb carcasses sold for $557.25, averaging $2.73 a pound with champions and $1.97 without.

Proceeds from resales benefited the scholarship foundation and county food bank.

Auctioneers were Tim Hunt, Jack Evans, Jeff Otto, Allen Burhenne, Scott Mihalic, Charlie Brewster, Kyle Krieg and Bob Fink.

(You can contact Andrea Myers at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at amyers@farmanddairy.com.)

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