Junior fair sales total nearly $5 million

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SALEM, Ohio – One more livestock project year has wrapped up for 4-H and FFA members across Farm and Dairy’s 31-county coverage area.

If the numbers are any indication, many of those young people should still be wearing smiles ear to ear.

Sale totals for fairs covered in Farm and Dairy topped $5 million this year.

Though Farm and Dairy staff and correspondents spent many long nights at fairs reaching from Ashtabula County to Ashland County, not every fair in the tri-state area was covered.

We’re making progress, though – with help from readers who sent in show and sale results, we’ve added more counties to our coverage this year.

At the top. Wayne County buyers – when combined with that fair’s 376 head of hogs and nearly 100 each lambs and steers – helped keep that fair’s sale at the top of the heap of reported counties, with sale receipts totaling $390,389.63.

Nearly $20,000 behind Wayne County was this year’s second-highest grossing fair in Stark County. That fair’s sale totaled $384,128.78, roughly $30,000 more than its total last year.

A spread of more than $50,000 separated the No. 2 Stark County with the No. 3 Tuscarawas sale. That fair’s dairy products and livestock sale receipts totaled $325,816.

In fourth place was Holmes County with $270,830.35, and in fifth was the Canfield Fair, at $250,061.55.

In hog heaven. Wayne County again held the title for the region’s top-selling hog.

Last year’s champion there went for $36 a pound, but this year, bidders raised the bar when they paid $41 a pound for Lane Haven’s champion.

Other high bids for hogs were in Washington, Pa., $13.50; Stark, $13; and Fayette, Pa., $12.50. The champions in Ashland County and in Mahoning County both brought $12 a pound.

The top bid for a reserve champion hog was a record $11 in Portage County – a higher bid than that county’s $8-a-pound champion. Mackenzie Kisamore showed the reserve champion.

Reserve champions also outsold champions in Ashtabula County and Marshall County, W.Va.

Lucky lambs. Washington County, Pa., is always a hotbed when it comes to champion lamb bids, and this year was no exception.

Callie Chapman’s champion there brought $26.50 a pound, well behind last year’s $69 bid, but still ahead of all others in this year’s county fair coverage.

Back in Ashland County, Ohio, Jake White’s $22-a-pound champion was big news, as was Tyler Ardrey’s $19-a-pound champion at the Loudonville Fair.

Other top sellers were in Fayette County, Pa., $17.50; Wayne County, $16; and Harrison County, $15.

The title for high bid on a reserve champion lamb went to Tuscarawas County’s Stephanie Harstine. Her lamb brought $12 a pound.

Ashland County’s reserve champion lamb brought $11 a pound, and Fayette County had a $10 bid.

Champion lambs were outbid by second place animals in Columbiana, Lawrence and Geauga counties.

Steer savvy. The top-selling grand champion steer was from Geauga County. Julie Clemson’s steer sold for $8.70 a pound.

Rounding out other top-selling steer champions were Canfield Fair, $8.50; Fayette, $7.50; and Holmes County and Marshall County, W.Va., with $7.25 apiece.

The top bid for a reserve champion steer was $6.10 a pound for Rachel Schmelzer’s steer in Geauga County.

Other high bids were Marshall County, $5; Stark, $4.75; and Fayette, $4.25.

Reserve champions outbid the champions in Summit and Ashtabula counties.

Dairy sales. Dairy products fared well in Tuscarawas County, where members sold $50,550 worth of products and dairy-related items. Repeat buyer Glenn Burket of Dover took the No. 1 basket in that sale for a hefty $5,600 bid.

Baskets of cheese and crackers brought $15,975 at the Canfield Fair dairy sale, and Columbiana County dairy youth raised $14,575.

Wayne County’s sale also brought a respectable $12,575.

Averages. The averages of champions and reserve champions sales reported in Farm and Dairy for 2003 are:

Grand champion steers: high, $8.70; low, $1.40; average price, $4.28.

Reserve champion steers: high, $6.10; low, $1.30; average price, $2.82.

Grand champion hogs: high, $41; low, $2.10; average price, $8.09.

Reserve champion hogs: high, $11; low, $1.50; average price, $4.54.

Grand champion lambs: high, $26.50; low, $2.15; average price, $9.66.

Reserve champion lambs: high, $12; low, $1.70; average price, $5.86.

(Reporter Andrea Myers welcomes reader feedback by phone at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at amyers@farmanddairy.com.)

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