Portage County Fair: A day of records and repeats


RANDOLPH, Ohio – Portage County Fair’s junior market livestock auction kicked off Aug. 23 with Auctioneer John Kiko’s rallying words: “Bid ’til it hurts and then bid again.”

If the sale total is any indication, bidders went home crying in pain.

A $38,000 leap in the sale’s total led to an all-time $245,000 high. Almost every champion showman took home more money than last year’s champions, two shattering records.

Day does it again. After an extraordinary showing career, bidders sent showman Terry Day out of his 4-H career beaming, with a $5.50-a-pound bid for his 1,330-pound grand champion steer.

Along with the grand champion banner, Day and his steer picked up showmanship champion and best groomed titles – all three of which he claimed last year, too. This year’s record bid from Clover Pointe Land Development beat last year’s price by more than $2 a pound and beat the record by 50 cents.

Day wasn’t the only one giving a repeat champion performance: Lydia Pirogowicz and her 1,260-pound steer also stole the reserve champion show again.

Oscar Brugmann Sand and Gravel kept up its 4-H support with its $2.75-a-pound reserve champion steer purchase.

Zizka and Doty. Some buyers’ names crop up every year on sale day; Zizka and Doty are two such names.

John and Kathy Zizka paid $3.75 a pound for Katy Shircliff’s champion steer carcass – $1 more than last year’s winning bid.

Bishop Brothers and Bob and Terry Doty, known for buying grand and reserve carcasses, kept up the support with a $2.75-a-pound bid for Ashley Hargett’s reserve champion carcass.

Seventy-one steers totaled $146,128.68, averaging $2.26 with champions and $1.50 without.

Record broken. Also smashing a record was Mackenzie Kisamore’s reserve champion hog. J&J Refuse kept the bidding hot with the record $11-a-pound bid for Kisamore’s 263-pound animal – tripling what she received for her reserve champ last year.

Although it wasn’t a record, Tierney Ruehr’s grand champion hog brought in $1.50 a pound more than last year. Frank and June Ruehr bought their granddaughter’s 283-pound hog for $8 a pound.

With the help of Kiko auctioneers, grand and reserve hog carcass prices also jumped, both to $5 a pound.

Jeff Herman’s grand champion carcass sold to Marhofer Ford, and Tyler Wise’s reserve champ sold to Cleveland’s WB television station.

Sale receipts for the 152 hogs totaled $67,738.60, averaging $1.76 with champions and $1.57 without.

Raising the ante. Bidders continued to empty their wallets at the goat sale where the grand champion sold for $575 more than last year’s champ.

Shannon Gallagher’s 98-pound goat champion goat stole the show with an $850 bid from Smith and Gough Construction in Ravenna.

Randall Kiko bought Dan Ahrens’ 89-pound reserve champion goat for $475 before donating it back to sell again.

Averages for the eight goats were $270.63 with champions and $140 without, totaling $2,365.

Lamb sale. Although the grand champion market lamb bid was up, the reserve champ’s price fell.

Jeff Ruehr’s 124-pound grand champion market lamb sold for $12.50 a pound, a quarter more than last year, to Middlefield Bank.

Portage County Commissioner Chuck Keiper, State Sen. Leigh Herington and Commissioner Chris Smeiles pooled funds to buy Andy Matlock’s 122-pound reserve champion for $6.50 a pound – $2.25 a pound less than last year’s reserve winner.

Bob and Terry Doty bought another carcass, this time Kenny Shircliff’s grand champion lamb carcass for $6 a pound. The bid fell from $10 last year.

Andy Matlock came to the ring again and sold his reserve champion carcass to Hyde’s Automotive for $4 a pound.

Thirty-five lambs averaged $2.43 a pound with champions, $1.81 without and totaled $9,566.20.

Small animals. Prices didn’t fare quite as well in the small animal sale earlier in the morning, although support stayed steady.

The grand champion rabbit sale was a repeat performance, with the same buyer and seller as last year.

Commissioner Keiper again bought Dale Graves’ champion rabbit pen, this year for $600 – $150 less than last year.

Amanda Kitchen sold her reserve pen to Pettigrew Feed and Hardware for $350 – $225 less than last year’s reserve champ.

Seven pens of three rabbits each totaled $1,725, averaging $246.43 with champions and $155 without.

Turkeys, chickens. Tyler Phelps stole the show in the turkey competition, taking both grand and reserve champion honors.

Deluxe Mold and Machine had the winning bid of $600 for the 35-pound grand champion turkey, and Hyde’s Automotive bought the 34 1/2 -pound reserve champ for $400.

Sale receipts for 54 turkeys hit $6,560, averaging $120 with champions and $106.92 without.

Shelby Tomlinson’s grand champion chicken pen sold for $800, beating last year’s bid by $50, to Portage County Farm Bureau.

Nate Watson’s reserve chicken pen brought in $300 from Tractor Supply Center in Ravenna.

Seventy-three pens of chickens sold for $10,995, averaging $137.67 with champions and $126.06 without.

(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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