Rain can’t wash away that fair spirit

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LISBON, Ohio – OK, after three months of wetter-than-normal weather, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it rained during the 2003 Columbiana County Fair.

The good news is that after a fierce storm July 27, prior to opening day, the rain gods smiled and the fair was spared more rain until Aug. 3, closing day.

Mud bog. Overall attendance for the week was approximately 39,000, according to fair official Terri Hunter, with Wednesday night’s demolition derby drawing the biggest crowd of the week.

Sunday’s rain turned the fairgrounds parking lots into a muddy mess and Hunter said the fair was forced to close the parking lots at 8 p.m. that evening because of the mud.

Deep pockets. The forecast didn’t deter buyers at the three nights of junior fair market livestock sales, as overall averages remained strong.

The sale of 392 lots totaled $225,391.10, down slightly from last year’s total of $235,000.

Steer sale. If the last name of “Sharp” has a familiar ring to it in the market livestock barns, it’s because the Sharp family of Beloit has been consistent winners over the last seven years.

Brothers Seth and Nathan have claimed 16 grand or reserve champion titles in the hog and steer shows since 1996, and added lamb laurels to their claim to fame this year.

Nathan Sharp repeated his 2001 win in the steer show and grabbed the grand champion banner with his 1,265-pound entry.

Village Sparkle Markets purchased the top steer for $4.50 a pound, well below last year’s $12 bid and the lowest grand champion bid since 1998.

Alisha Houck of Salem showed the reserve champion steer, a 1,270-pound Hereford, which sold for $3.75 a pound to Salem Giant Eagle.

Jenny Basich of Leetonia repeated her 2002 win with the grand champion market steer project, which combines live animal, skillathon and showmanship scores. Nemenz Food Stores paid $1.60 a pound for her 1,235-pound steer.

Samantha Steiner’s reserve champion project steer, weighing 1,200 pounds, sold for $1.40 a pound to Nemenz Food Stores.

Heather Kitzmiller was the steer rate-of-gain winner. Trista Houck was the steer showman of showmen and senior showmanship winner; Troy Lindesmith won intermediate showmanship honors and Nicole Richey won junior showmanship. Skillathon winners were: Anna Baltputnis, senior; Samantha Cope, intermediate; and Hillary Hoppel, junior.

The 70 steers averaged $1.21 a pound, including champions; $1.12 a pound, without. The sale totaled $103,903.75.

Hot hogs. Buyers showed their support during the hog sale, bidding strong to keep the average on the 125 head at $1.76 a pound, with champions; $1.71 a pound, without.

Nathan Sharp’s 271-pound grand champion hog sold for $5.50 a pound to Nemenz Food Stores, nearly halving last year’s top bid of $10.

Andrew Wiley, who also reigned as 4-H royalty this year with Megan Baer, sold his 255-pound reserve champion hog to Village Sparkle Markets for $4 a pound.

Matt Bandy’s grand champion carcass hog sold for $2 a pound to Damascus Livestock Auction. Colby Henderson’s reserve champion carcass hog brought $2 from Kelly Oil Products.

Jennifer Saling, junior showmanship winner, sold her 245-pound grand champion project hog to Enertech Electrical Inc. for $2.75 a pound.

Cooper Wiley’s 230-pound reserve champion project hog sold for $3 a pound to Rob Sekely.

Angela Meier was hog showman of showmen and senior showman. Codey Baker was intermediate showmanship winner and Logan Cope was novice showman.

The hog sale totaled $54,148.50.

Market lambs. The Sharps ventured into a new arena this year, the market lamb competition. Seth Sharp must have been a quick learner, for he claimed the grand champion banner with his 134-pound lamb. Sharp, who also won novice showmanship honors, sold his lamb for $5.25 to Village Sparkle Markets.

Mac Trailer Manufacturing paid $6 for Samantha Cope’s reserve champion lamb that was also the grand champion project lamb. The lamb weighed 127 pounds.

Both of last year’s champions brought $8.75.

Missy Cooper’s grand champion carcass lamb sold for $2 a pound to Hanover Farms, the Paul Zehentbauer family. Gabe Jones’ reserve champion carcass lamb sold for $1.70 a pound, also to Hanover Farms.

Zachary Birkhimer’s reserve project champion sold for $1.90 a pound to Hull’s Super Duper.

The 35 live lambs and two lamb carcasses totaled $8,753.85 and averaged $2 a pound with champions; $1.79 a pound, without.

Amy Cunningham was showman of showmen and intermediate lamb showmanship winner. Esther Bardo won senior showmanship and Max Sharp, junior.

Cheese sale. Hull’s Super Duper, a longtime supporter of the youth livestock sale, paid $1,000 for the champion cheese yield basket owned by Valerie Rhodes.

The contest determines how much cheese each cow could make in a single day’s lactation, based on a yearly production figure. Rhodes’ basket included 12.12 pounds of cheese, which means, as auctioneer Rusty Kiko pointed out, her cow produced more than a ton and a half of cheese over the year.

Minerva Dairy calculates the production and cheese yield.

Adam Deckard’s reserve champion cheese yield, 11.13 pounds, sold to Witmer’s Feed and Grain for $650.

The 35 lots averaged $416.43 and brought a total of $14,575.

Dairy beef feeders. Lydia Bardo raised the grand champion dairy beef feeder, a calf weighing 605 pounds. Schott Feed paid $1.35 a pound for the champion.

The 75 head averaged 98 cents a pound with champions; 96 cents, without. The feeder calf sale totaled $38,548.50.

Tori Lindesmith won showman of showmen and senior showmanship honors; Katie Glasser, intermediate; and Emily Smith, junior.

Market goats. Chelsee Anderson’s 90-pound grand champion market goat sold for $3.50 a pound to Rob Sekely. Ashley Haddox’s 101-pound reserve champion goat sold for $2.75 a pound to Rudibaugh Feed.

The seven goats averaged $2 a pound; the sale totaled $1,109.

Rabbits. Kelsey Todd sold her grand champion pen of three market rabbits to Hilltop Lawn and Garden of Columbiana for $120. Todd also had the reserve champion fryer rabbit, which was sold as part of her market pen.

Joel Newburn’s reserve champion pen of rabbits was purchased by Schreiner Lakeview Acres of Alliance for $390.

Eric Baltputnis had the grand champion fryer rabbit. He sold his pen containing the champion rabbit to Thompson Farms of Hanoverton, Ohio, for $120.

The average price was $80.44 without champions and $98.82 with champions.

Chance Young won junior rabbit showmanship and rabbit showman of showmen. Heather Buckley won the intermediate division, Chezney Clemens won the senior division and Emily Clow won the novice showmanship division.

Chickens. Kelly Oil Products of Salem purchased Chris Simmons’ grand champion pen of three market chickens for $285.

Tristen Solomon’s reserve champion pen of chickens was sold to West Point Paving from East Liverpool, Ohio, for $120.

The average price without champions was $100.13 and $109.43 with champions.

Jim Herron won senior chicken showmanship and chicken showman of showmen. Kyle Wetherald won the intermediate showmanship division and Hannah Petcovic won the junior division.

Donating their services over the three-day sale were auctioneers Ken Baer, Bill Baer and Rusty Kiko. Mark Harding, Wade Baer and Barry Pidgeon helped as ringmen.

(Janelle Baltputnis contributed to this article.)

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