Canfield Fair exhibitors battled for top spots

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CANFIELD, Ohio – The coliseum at the Canfield Fair turned into a battleground last week – not just for exhibitors, but buyers, too.
A handful of longtime champion exhibitors battled to keep the top market spots during the livestock shows held in the building’s show arena Thursday and Friday, and then smiled their way through the sale ring as buyers, including grocers Rulli Bros. and H.P. Nemenz, held their own sideline bidding wars.
Sale receipts for the two-day market livestock sale totaled $264,865.18, and the dairy cheese sale added $18,625 to the till for a total $283,490.
Hogs. The grocers’ battle started when purple-circle newcomer Lauren George brought her 268-pound champion market hog to the sale ring. Frank Rulli and Nemenz buyer Jack Wetzel volleyed the bid until it reached $8.25 per pound for Rulli. That bid was up $1.25 from last year.
Tyler Pidgeon repeated his 2005 fair placing, again bringing the reserve champion market hog. This year’s 260-pound reserve champion brought $3.50 per pound from Nemenz, down 50 cents from last year.
Nearly half way through the sale, Colton Horvath raised eyebrows when his 242-pound hog earned a $5-per-pound bid.
Tyler Pidgeon was junior showman. Other showmanship winners were Corey King, senior; Amanda Smith, intermediate; and Travis Pidgeon, beginners.
Skillathon winners were Lisa Pitcairn, senior; Hannah Zimmerman, intermediate; Martha Zimmerman, junior; and Tara Balsinger, beginners.
One-hundred sixty hogs sold, averaging $1.99 per pound with champions and $1.94 without.
Lambs. Frank Rulli was also successful in the lamb sale, taking home both the champion market and champion carcass animals.
Sara Cummings exhibited both projects. Her 126-pound market lamb fetched $9.75 per pound, and her 136-pound carcass champ earned $5.60 per pound.
Jessica Miletta’s 132-pound reserve champion market animal brought $7 per pound from Nemenz. The grocer turned around and also bought Sam Barnhouse’s 104-pound reserve champion carcass lamb for $3.25 per pound.
Twenty-seven market lambs averaged $2.84 per pound with champions and $2.39 without.
Thirteen carcass lambs averaged $2.21 per pound with champions and $1.80 without.
Showmanship winners were Jacob Yeager, senior; Sara Cummings, intermediate; and Jessica Miletta, junior. Skillathon winners were Yeager, senior; Chris Burke, intermediate; and Miletta, junior.
Poultry. The Mowery trio of sisters proved themselves as poultry powerhouses, taking three of the top four spots in market poultry competition.
McKenzie Mowery’s grand champion market turkey brought a record-setting $850 from perennial poultry purchasers Jeff and Joe Taylor. The bid was up $100 from what the Taylors paid last year for sister Kailyn Mowery’s champion.
Hannah Mowery’s reserve champion market turkey brought $250 from Clark Excavating, which is $200 less than the Clarks paid for last year’s reserve champion.
The turkey project, which started with just five projects sold in 1998, continues to grow in popularity. This year, 35 turkeys sold, averaging $165.57 with champions and $142.27 without.
Eli Dunn claimed the top spot in the broiler competition and earned a $600 bid from Cheryl’s Step in Time. That bid was up significantly from last year’s $200 champion bid.
Kailyn Mowery matched her 2005 placing but more than doubled her money by selling this year’s reserve champion market broilers for $400 to Richard Gallite. Last year’s reserve champions brought $170.
Thirty-two pens of broilers averaged $84.22 with champions and $73.17 without.
Steers. The sale-ring battle was back on for Friday night’s sale when Brianne Witmer led her 1,335-pound champion market steer in front of the crowd. Grocers Nemenz and Rulli shot bids to the auctioneer, and even when it looked like bidding was about to stop at $4 per pound, they persevered. Bidding continued by nickels until Nemenz outlasted Rulli to take the top steer for $5.05 per pound.
Rulli took the reserve champion, a 1,250-pounder shown by Mackenzie Crowe, for $3.05 per pound.
The 57 steers exhibited averaged $1.30 per pound with champions and $1.20 per pound without.
Rate of gain honors went to a 1,550-pounder raised by Taylor Lewis. Showmanship winners were Casey Skowron, senior; Taylor Pidgeon, intermediate; and Hannah Mowery, junior. Skillathon winners were Nicole Glista, senior; Britney Crowe, intermediate; and John T. Kulifay, junior.
Feeders. Brian Spencer came to the fair looking to make a three-peat as exhibitor of the champion beef feeder, but came out one place short this time around.
Chad Raber’s 470-pound champion beef feeder brought $1.80 per pound from Stephanie Woloschak Accounting and Tax Service, and Spencer’s 460-pounder earned $2.45 per pound from Zinni Golf Construction Inc.
Taylor Witmer moved up one placing from last year in the dairy beef feeder competition. Her 580-pound grand champion dairy beef feeder brought $2.80 per pound from Laura Heater, who also bought her feeder last year for $1 less per pound.
Andrea Detwiler finished in the reserve champion spot, and her 530-pound calf brought $2.20 per pound from Greier Ag Center.
Feeder showmanship honors went to Dustin Elder, senior; Amanda Smith, intermediate; and Sadie Pay, junior. Skillathon winners were Chad Raber, senior; Hannah Zimmerman, intermediate; and Martha Zimmerman, junior.
Forty-one beef feeders averaged $1.38 per pound with champions and $1.35 without.
Fifty-four dairy beef feeders averaged $1.15 per pound with champions and $1.10 without.
Goats. Siblings Kristina and Justin Moff took top spots in a field of four market dairy-type goats. Kristina Moff’s 38-pound champion brought $4 per pound from Judge Mary DeGenaro, and Justin Moff’s 37-pound reserve champion brought $3.25 per pound from Mill Creek Geological.
Jonathon James’ 91-pound champion meat-type market goat brought $3 per pound from Judge Mary DeGenaro, and Katlyn Eastep’s 115-pound reserve champion brought $2.50 per pound from Circle C Farm.
Four dairy-type goats averaged $3.81 per pound with champions and $4 per pound without. Eight meat-type goats averaged $3.66 per pound with champions and $3.75 per pound without.
Rabbits. Irene Coy’s grand champion fryer rabbit brought $275 from Jeff Taylor and Nick Evans. Kyle Davis’ reserve champion fryer brought $220 from Malcomson Logging.
Jake Davis’ grand champion meat pen rabbits brought $525 from Attorney Lynn Maro. Kyle Davis’ reserve champion pen brought $450 from Terno and Associates.
Ten fryer rabbits averaged $87.50 with champions and $47.50 without.
Nine pens of meat rabbits averaged $68.33 with champions and $41.43 without.
Fudge. Katlyn Eastep’s 11.27-pound basket of grand champion goat milk fudge brought an unofficial record $650 from O’Brock Windmills. The O’Brocks donated the basket back for resale, and it brought $325 its second time across the block for the Jim Baer Memorial Scholarship.
Kathryn Phillips’ 9.11-pound reserve champion fudge brought $550 from Attorney Lynn Maro.
Six lots of fudge brought $3,175, averaging $529.17 with champions and $493.75 without.
Cheese. Heather Moff’s 11.48-pound grand champion cheese brought $1,400 from Lisbon Veterinary Clinic, and Jonathon Dye’s 10.77-pound lot of reserve champion cheese brought $1,000 from Marvin and Mary Jo Dye.
Twenty-four lots of cheese sold for a total $18,625, with three additional lots matching the $1,000 reserve champion bid. However, no sale was more impressive than Charlie Miller’s. With only two lots to sell after him, Miller commanded a $2,100 bid from Hettler Largent Engineering.
Miller also received the dairy achievement award.
Volunteers. Auctioneers and ringmen who volunteered their skills for the livestock and dairy sales included Bill, Ken and Sam Baer; Barry Pidgeon; Mark Harding; Duke Whiting; Don Braham; Chuck Mowry; and Russell, Randall and Rudy Kiko.
Resales added $2,151 to the Darrel Bacon Memorial Scholarship fund, and $3,013.20 to the Jim Baer memorial fund.
(Reporter Andrea Myers welcomes reader feedback by phone at 800-837-3419 or by e-mail at amyers@farmanddairy.com.)

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