Ashtabula County Fair honors Ernie Kaszar


JEFFERSON, Ohio – This year’s Ashtabula County Fair saluted a man who donated 46 years of free veterinary services to the county’s youth.

In a dedication ceremony Aug. 9, the fair christened the cattle show barn after veterinarian Ernest Kaszar.

“This is a small token for Ernie. He did a lot for Ashtabula County,” fair board member Marty Beckwith said.

Kaszar, 76, donated his services to Ashtabula County youth for almost half a century. He had to retire from his role due to health problems, Beckwith said.

In his years with the fair, Kaszar gave generously of his time, sometimes filling out 300 health papers and making several farm calls to test cattle and other livestock. He helped out with all of the junior fair livestock.

A graduate of the Ohio State veterinary school, Kaszar moved to Ashtabula County in 1950, and worked out of his home until his retirement.

Kaszar lives with his wife, Joyce, in Dorset.

Livestock sale. Taking up the torch Kaszar had to lay aside, buyers packed MAC Arena Aug. 8 to support Ashtabula County youth in the junior fair market livestock sale.

The sale began at 5 p.m. with cheese baskets and rounded out with lambs starting at 11 p.m.

The threat of rain and humid temperatures did not seem to dampen spirits as applause rang out for each animal sold.

The sale totaled $134,874.59, well below last year’s record of over $152,000.

The number of projects sold was 201 and buyers totaled 121.

Ashtabula County’s format awards grand champion project winners as the top honor, totaling 40 percent of the score from skillathon results, 40 percent from showmanship and 20 percent based on the llive animal scores.

Also recognized are the best of show and reserve best of show animals.

High prices. The dairy feeder portion of the sale saw high prices this year. The average price for 23 animals sold with champions was $1.29 a pound and without champions, $1.21 a pound.

Last year, dairy feeders sold for 82 cents a pound with champions and 81 cents without.

Lisa Hurst grabbed top exhibitor honors for the third consecutive year with her 582-pound grand champion dairy feeder project. It sold to Colebrook Elevators for $2.30 a pound, more than double last year’s bid on Hurst’s project.

Orwell Supply purchased Ashley Fetters’ 524-pound reserve champion project dairy feeder for $1.75 a pound.

Best of show honors went to Cindy Butler, who sold her 636-pound dairy feeder to Orwell Electric and Maintenance for $1.50 a pound. Marous Farms Enterprises paid $1.10 a pound for the 600-pound reserve best of show dairy feeder, exhibited by Jennifer Vild.

Steers, beef carcass. Kay Ruck celebrated her last year in 4-H by taking home the grand champion steer exhibitor ribbon. Her 1,285-pound steer sold for $2.30 a pound to Thorne’s BiLo.

Winner of both the reserve champion project and reserve best of show, Rachel Furman sold her 1,315-pound steer to Clemson’s Towing and Recovery for $2.20 a pound.

Garrett Jerome’s best of show steer, weighing 1,295 pounds, sold for $1.40 a pound to Cherry Valley Slaughtering and Processing.

Forty-seven steers sold for $72,707.25, with the average price per pound $1.27 with champions and $1.22 without.

Taking home best of show honors, Joey Mezinger sold his 411-pound beef carcass for $2.20 a pound, well below last year’s bid of $3.40 a pound. Ray Brothers Inc. purchased Mezinger’s project.

Darrin Demshar of Jefferson bought the 405-pound reserve best of show hanging half, raised by Andy Lower, for $2.25 a pound.

Lambs, lamb carcass. For a second straight year, Matt Bogue walked away with grand champion lamb project honors. His 152-pound lamb brought $2.10 a pound from C. Hamm and Associates.

First-year lamb exhibitor Mario Noce took reserve champion project honors and sold his 129-pound lamb to Midway Pontiac, Chevrolet and Buick Inc. for $3.50 a pound.

C. Hamm and Associates returned to the buyer’s circle, purchasing the 107-pound best of show market lamb, exhibited by Elizabeth Gavin, for $3.10 a pound. Samantha Benton, in her first year showing market lambs, sold her 117-pound reserve best of show lamb for $2.60 a pound to Stackhouse Construction.

Fourteen lambs sold for $1.68 a pound with champions and $1.22 without, totaling $2,906.45.

Winning best of show lamb carcass, Tricia Lautanen sold her project, weighing 59 pounds, for $2.20 a pound to Walter and Michal Barnes. Fair queen Cathy Benton sold her 66-pound reserve best of show carcass lamb to Alan Burhenne Auction Service for $2.20 a pound.

Small animals. Evan Wolf went home with the grand champion project turkey trophy. For $9 a pound, Saybrook Feed and Garden purchased his 40-pound animal.

This year’s price was well below last year’s mark of $25 a pound.

Jon Benton sold his 34-pound reserve champion project and reserve best of show turkey to Chapman’s Food Service for $7 a pound. Chapman’s also bought best of show turkey winner Sarah Richie’s 38-pound animal for $4 a pound.

The average price a pound was $5.09 with champions and without champions, $4.46.

Chapman’s Food Service entered the ring again, purchasing the 11.75-pound grand champion pen of chickens project of Dustin Wolf for $15 a pound. James Anderson’s 12.50-pound reserve champion project pen of two went for $8 a pound to Saybrook Feed and Garden for resale.

Cassandra Baker sold her 13.75-pound best of show pen of chickens to Geneva Giant Eagle for $6.75 a pound. Reserve best of show honors went to Carly Cash who received $6.20 a pound for her 14-pound pen of chickens, purchased by Thomas and Caroline Scardina.

The pens of chickens brought $6.02 a pound with champions and $3.58 without.

Cassie Swango fronted the meat rabbit category, bringing $13.25 a pound for her 15.5-pound grand champion project pen of three. H and H Land Clearing purchased Swango’s project, triumphing after an intense bidding war.

Winner of both reserve champion project and best of show honors, Krystie Nichols sold her nine-pound pen of three to Chapman’s Food Service for $11.25 a pound.

CW Brooks Trucking purchased Michael Anderson’s 15.75-pound reserve best of show rabbit pen for $4.50 a pound.

The rabbit sale totaled $4.50 a pound without champions and with champions, $8.38.

Goats, cheese. Amanda Fink, garnering grand champion project and best of show honors in market goats, sold her 78-pound project for $1.25 a pound, below last year’s $2.50 a pound, to Flatland Farm. Lizandemere Farm paid $1.50 a pound for Becky Betteridge’s 65-pound reserve champion project goat.

Daniel Bogue’s 70-pound reserve best of show goat sold to John and Bonnie Miller for $1.15 a pound.

With champions, goats sold for an average of $1.03 a pound; without champions, 83 cents.

Fair king Corey Sundberg kicked off the cheese sale with his best of show cheese basket. Cherry Valley Slaughtering and Processing purchased it for $485, well below last year’s bid of $850.

Bobby Keep continued his winning ways with his reserve best of show cheese basket going to Pat Holden Livestock for $330.

The average price of the eight baskets sold was $373.75 with champions and without, $357.86.

Hogs, hog carcass. Adam Paul took home the grand champion project ribbon for market hog. His 252-pound project brought $4.05 a pound from Thorne’s BiLo in Jefferson. Ray Chiropractic Clinic purchased Rebecca Savel’s 300-pound reserve champion project hog for $3 a pound.

Fair queen Cathy Benton took home another trophy with best of show market hog honors. Her 283-pound animal was bought by Ryan Heating and Cooling for $2.20 a pound. Ben Beckwith sold his 240-pound reserve best of show market hog for $3.80 a pound to Jefferson Golden Dawn.

The hog sale totaled $28,729.65, with 63 animals. The average price per pound was $1.83 with champions and without champions, $1.73.


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