Ashtabula County Fair: Late night equals more money

JEFFERSON, Ohio – Ashtabula County 4-H’ers had a long night at the fair’s junior market livestock sale Aug. 13, but the record money in their pockets was worth it.
The sale total hit $154,177.65, edging up the 2002 record by $3,000.
‘Small’ winners. Small animals stole the show, setting several records.
Realty One set an all-time high with its $32.50-a-pound bid for champion exhibitor Dustin Wolf’s best of show 11.75-pound chicken pen. That beat the old record of $30 a pound, and more than doubled last year’s winning bid of $15 a pound.
Reserve champion exhibitor James Anderson fared much better than last year, going home with $20 a pound from Chapman’s Food Service for his 12.25-pound reserve best of show chicken pen. Last year, he got $8 a pound.
Two chicken pens totaled $626.88, averaging $26.25 with champions.
The Ashtabula County Fair honors both exhibitors and animals. Best of show honors are based on the animal, and grand and reserve exhibitor distinctions take into account the market animal, plus youth showmanship and skillathon results.
New heights. Rabbits followed, also reaching new price heights.
Champion exhibitor Michael Anderson Jr. walked out of the ring with $47.50 a pound for his best of show 12.75-pound rabbit pen. This was just the first of many purchases for C. Hamm and Associates of Geneva. The bid beat the $32.50 record, and last year’s $13.25-a-pound price.
Northeast Ohio Rabbit Fanciers quickly picked up Kay Weinrich’s 12.75-pound reserve best of show rabbit pen for $20 a pound, $8.75 more than last year’s winning bid. Weinrich was also this year’s reserve champion exhibitor.
Four rabbit pens totaled $1,094.12, averaging $21.38 a pound with champions and $9 without.
Nonwinner record. Although the best of show cheese basket sold for $115 more than last year, it wasn’t the basket that set a record. Instead, Horizon Elastomeric set the record at $1,150 for Lindsey Zaebst’s fourth-place basket.
Corey Sundberg’s best of show basket brought in $600 from Al’s Trucking and Excavating.
Six cheese baskets averaged $595.83 and added $3,575 to the sale total.
Higher hogs. This year, 26 more hog projects came to the fair, and the hog sale totaled $41,445.70, about $13,000 more than last year. Averages were $1.77 with champions and $1.71 without.
Thorne’s BiLo picked up its first of several winners, this time champion exhibitor Erica Reiter’s 230-pound hog. The supermarket paid $4.25 a pound for the animal.
Reserve champion exhibitor Danielle Lautanen took home $3.25 a pound from Ryan Heating and Cooling for her 264-pound best of show hog.
The 271-pound reserve best of show animal, exhibited by Mark Smith, sold for $2.75 a pound to Giant Eagle of Geneva.
Ben Beckwith’s 188-pound best of show hog carcass went to Darrin Demshar for $3.25 a pound, 25 cents less than last year.
Petrowater Inc. paid $3.05 a pound for Ben Reiter’s 176-pound reserve best of show hog carcass.
Five carcasses sold for $2,415.40, averaging $2.62 a pound with champions and $2.27 without.
More dairy feeders. Once again, dairy feeder project numbers were high. Twenty-seven projects added $16,062.90 to the sale total, averaging $1.02 a pound with champions and $1.03 without.
Champion exhibitor Brittany Clayton’s 526-pound dairy feeder received a $1.20-a-pound bid from Alan Burhenne Auction Service. This is a $1.10-a-pound drop from last year.
Other bids also fell. Reserve champion exhibitor Lisa Hurst received 95 cents a pound for her 734-pound reserve best of show animal from Complete Coverage Ag Service. And Weaver’s Trucking paid 90 cents a pound for Jesse Dean’s 668-pound best of show dairy feeder. Both prices were more than 50 cents less than last year’s winning bids.
Lambs. Thorne’s BiLo took home champion exhibitor Kayla Hanneman’s 112-pound lamb for $4 a pound, $1.90 more than last year’s high bid.
Reserve champion exhibitor Matthew Bogue and his 128-pound best of show lamb received $2.50 a pound from Midway Pontiac Chevrolet and Buick Inc.
Samantha Benton’s 118-pound reserve best of show lamb also brought in $2.50 a pound, this time from Al Sedivec who has bought animals at the fair since 1977.
The lamb sale total hit $2,729.75 for 11 animals, averaging $2.16 with champions and $1.84 without.
Lamb carcasses added another $928 to the sale total.
Blake Betteridge’s 72-pound best of show lamb carcass sold for $3 a pound to Green Side Up Landscape and Construction, and Danny Bogue’s 86-pound reserve best of show carcass went to Walter and Michal Barnes for $2 a pound.
Steers. Champion exhibitor Jeff Jackson kicked off the steer sale by selling his 1,290-pound animal to Thorne’s BiLo for $2.20 a pound. This price was 10 cents lower than last year’s.
All County Disposal Co. paid the highest steer price of the night, $2.25 a pound, for Tricia Lautanen’s 1,350-pound best of show animal. Lautanen was also named reserve champion exhibitor.
Brandi Clay’s 1,340-pound reserve best of show steer pulled in $1.70 a pound from Bob Lautanen Trucking in Jefferson.
Forty-six steers sold for $74,630, averaging $1.35 with champions and $1.30 without.
Beef carcass averages inched up about 25 cents a pound from last year to $2.16 a pound with champions and $2.17 without. Five projects sold for a total of $4,283.10.
Sara Pelton’s 360-pound hanging half best of show carcass sold for $2.20 a pound to high bidder Walter and Michal Barnes.
Terry Orahood picked up Lee Orahood’s 415-pound hanging half reserve best of show carcass for $2.10 a pound.
Later on. Three beef feeders were saved for the last sale of the night. They totaled $2,055.55, averaging $1.55 a pound.
Although the sale barn had long since cleared out, champion exhibitor Raquel Mook received $1.65 a pound for her 398-pound beef feeder. Lowell Agnew Farms bought the animal, in addition to purchasing Jeremy Fink’s 566-pound best of show beef feeder for $1.45 a pound.
Ryan Heating and Cooling had a high bid of $1.55 a pound for reserve champion exhibitor Brandy Wolfe’s 373-pound beef feeder.
Top turkeys. Turkey prices were up, averaging $7.29 a pound with champions and $5.75 without, totaling $2,707.50 for 12 projects.
The Bird Feeder in Jefferson paid $17 a pound for champion exhibitor Levi Humes’ 28-pound turkey, a price that almost doubled last year’s winning price.
Reserve champion exhibitor Evan Gruskiewicz took a $12.50-a-pound bid for his reserve best of show 39-pound turkey. Saybrook Feed and Garden was the buyer.
Best of show turkey went to Sarah Ritchie for the second year in a row, and Chapman’s Food Service was again the buyer. This time, it paid $7 a pound for Ritchie’s 35-pound animal, $3 more per pound than last year.
Goats. Goat prices jumped from $479.45 for seven projects last year to $1,623.75 for nine projects this year. Averages were $2.97 a pound with champions and $2.17 without, both big jumps from last year’s average of $1.03 a pound.
Champion exhibitor Kendra Gerner was happy with a $5-a-pound bid from C.W. Brooks Trucking for her 55-pound animal, a price that was four times higher than last year’s.
Another bid much higher than last year’s was for reserve champion exhibitor Amanda Fink’s 85-pound reserve best of show goat. Chapman’s Food Service paid the $4-a-pound price.
Danny Bogue’s best of show 55-pound goat pushed the bid up to $4.75 a pound from C. Hamm and Associates.
Auctioneers for the sale were Tim Hunt, Charles Brewster, Bob Fink, Alan Burhenne and Gary Heaven, with Nelson Morrison helping as ringman.
(Reporter Kristy Hebert welcomes reader feedback by phone at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 23, or by e-mail at khebert@farmanddairy.com.)

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