BUTLER, Pa. – It could be the youths’ hard work with their animals. It could be the parents’ last-minute phone calls. It could be the volunteers’ ongoing behind-the-scenes efforts. It could be the subtle pressure from auctioneer John Huey II. Or it could be all of the above.
Whatever it is, the players at the Butler Farm Show’s market livestock sale should bottle it. They could make a fortune on their marketing skills.
At this year’s sale, Aug. 11, buyers set four new record bids and tied two old records, pushing the sale total to $138,021.01 up almost $27,000 from last year’s sale total of $111,238.
First to fall. Elaina Rader’s 127-pound market lamb topped 54 other lambs to win the grand champion banner at this year’s farm show. Rader, who is also the reigning Butler County dairy princess, won the honor in her last year of 4-H.
A trio of buyers blew right by the standing record of $10 a pound to set a new mark at $16.50 a pound for Rader’s lamb. The Big Butler Fair joined Valley Bus Lines Inc. and Rader’s uncle, auctioneer C. Sherman Allen, to buy the grand champion.
Harold Dunn Jr. showed the reserve champion lamb, weighing 128 pounds, which sold for $8 a pound to Amerikohl Mining.
The 55 lambs averaged $2.61 a pound with champions; $2.13 a pound, without.
Steers. Amerikohl Mining kept its string of buys going, as the last bidder for Dayna Filges’ 1,325-pound grand champion steer.
The company’s bid of $7 a pound tied the record it set last year for another of Filges’ champion steers.
And the mining company kept bidding as Amber Stewart brought her 1,325-pound reserve champion steer into the ring. It set a new record bid of $6.50 a pound for Stewart’s steer, jumping over the previous record of $4 a pound.
The 41 steers averaged $1.48 a pound, including the champions; $1.19 a pound, without.
Hogs. The final two champion animals through the sale ring also spurred buyers to set new record bids.
Harold Dunn Jr., who showed the grand champion hog for the third consecutive year, earned a record $12.50 a pound for his 274-pound pig. Custom Fab Trailers set the new mark with its bid.
Grant McKinnis’ 256-pound reserve champion sold for a record $8 a pound to J.K. Hydraulics Inc., contending bidder on several of the champions during the evening sale.
The 83 hogs averaged $2.08 a pound, including the champions; $1.87 a pound, without champions.
Small animals. Samantha Erskine started last week’s sale with her grand champion market goat. The 95-pound champion sold for $3, after auctioneer Huey struggled to start with a $1 bid. Stoughton Sanitation bought the top goat.
The reserve champion goat, raised by Joshua Arner, sold for $4.75 a pound to C. Sherman Allen, auctioneer.
Eight head sold for an average of $1.91 per pound, with champions; $1.22 a pound, without.
The bids for the chickens were way below last year’s record-setting pace. James Stull’s grand champion pen, weighing 22.5 pounds, sold for $5 a pound, not even close to the record $32.50 Stull received for his grand champion pen last year. Butler County Ford bought this year’s champion pen.
Capri Migliozzi’s reserve champion pen, weighing 17 pounds, sold for $7.50 a pound to Black’s Clearwater Kennel and Game Birds, also off the $15/pound market set last year.
These two pens were the only chickens to sell.
Five meat rabbit pens sold this year, with Jessi Kummer earning the top spot. AAA to Z Services paid $750 for the pen, a nice jump from last year’s bid of $525.
John Fleeger’s reserve champion pen sold for $650, tying the sale record. Tractor Supply Company bought the pen.
(Editor Susan Crowell can be reached at 1-800-837-3419 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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