Rains buoy Canfield Fair buyers

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CANFIELD, Ohio – Torrential downpours kept some livestock sale buyers spinning their wheels in muddy parking lots or splashing along midways at the Canfield Fairgrounds, but those rains didn’t wash away the fair spirit for several repeat winners and buyers at the fair’s sales Aug. 28 and 29.

Overall sale totals sank just $4,000 below last year’s purse, buoyed to more than $234,000 by above-average bids on species across the board.

Hogs and lambs. It was a battle between the Big 3 – Nemenz IGA, Village Plaza Sparkle and Rulli Bros. Market – for all champions in the hog and lamb sales Aug. 28.

It was no surprise to club members when Lindsay Yosay took both top spots in the market lamb and carcass lamb competitions.

Either Yosay or her brother, Brian, took grand or reserve honors in the market class since 1999.

And it probably didn’t come as a surprise that Rulli Bros. Market West prevailed in the bidding war, making it six years in a row to take home the top live lamb and the third consecutive with the carcass lamb.

Yosay’s 122-pound market project brought $9 a pound, up $2 from last year, and her 136-pound carcass lamb brought $3.25 a pound, down $2 from last year.

Yosay also won senior showmanship.

Meanwhile, 10-year-old Sara Cummings dropped one spot from last year’s win to reserve placing in the market competition. This was her first year with the carcass project, which also won reserve honors.

Her 116-pound market project crossed the block at $6 a pound and her carcass saw a $3 bid, both from Nemenz IGA.

Cummings won junior showmanship and the junior skillathon.

Intermediate skillathon winner was Jacob Yeager and Lance Majirsky took the senior division. Meghan Pidgeon was intermediate showman.

Forty-one lambs averaged $1.90 with champions and $1.53 without, totaling $9,267.40.

Two carcass projects sold at a total of $850.

Time to win. After watching her father sell champion hogs from the family’s barn for years, Amanda Smith decided this was her year to be top hog at the fair.

In the final moments of bidding, the right to the buyer’s plaque for her 250-pound gilt was tossed between grocers Nemenz and Sparkle. Nemenz settled on a bid of $12 a pound.

In his first year with a pig, Jim Hamilton sold his 246-pound reserve champion for $7 a pound. Village Sparkle Market had the top bid on Hamilton’s project.

Skillathon winners were Olivia Myers, senior; Lisa Pitcairn, intermediate; Erica Wilson, junior; and Sarah Montgomery, beginner.

Top showmen were Lindsay Yosay, senior; Corey King, intermediate; Amanda Smith, junior; and Hannah Mowery, beginner.

Prices remained steady throughout the sale and bids spiked above $2.50 per pound several times. Half way through the sale, one young lady’s buyer agreed to pay $6.75 per pound for her hog, nearly matching the reserve champion bid.

Plenty of buyers with smaller freezers could take advantage of underweight animals – nearly 25 percent of all market hogs exhibited this year fell below the 220-pound threshold.

Prices on 180 hogs averaged $1.72 with champions and $1.64 without, totaling $73,737.

Beefy wins. The sale coliseum seemed less than full of buyers – though passersby crowded in doorways to escape raindrops – when Kelly Snyder led her 1,335-pound grand champion market steer to the ring.

Grocers Vince Furrie and Henry Nemenz sat on opposite sides of the sale ring, but Snyder kept pace and flashed smiles at both men until the bidding stopped at $8.50 per pound. Sparkle Market’s bid was just a quarter shy of the record set in 1994.

Nemenz got his turn when he bid $3.75 for Casey Skowron’s 1,320-pound reserve champion steer.

Sixty-four steers averaged $1.29 with champions and $1.13 without, totaling $101,713.40.

Katie Houk won the senior skillathon and rate of gain honors. Kelsey Gidley tied with Houk in the skillathon competition.

Intermediate contestant Lauren George won her division of the skillathon and showmanship.

Other top showmen were Kyle Vernon, senior, and Taylor Pidgeon, junior.

Feeder calves. Taylor Pidgeon came back to the sale ring with the 2003 grand champion beef feeder, and auctioneer Don Braham urged bidders to give the rain-soaked youngster a little extra to pay for his trek from the barn to the sale ring.

Wrangler’s Old Country Restaurant in North Jackson anted up $3.10 a pound for the 475-pound feeder.

Amanda Smith raised the reserve champion feeder, worth $2.25 a pound to Damascus Livestock Auction. The calf weighed 485 pounds.

In dairy beef competition, Kelcie Witmer took champion honors, keeping last year’s winner – her sister, Kayla – out of the top spot.

Witmer’s 515-pound Brown Swiss brought $2 a pound from Damascus Livestock Auction.

Emmalee Wince grabbed reserve champion dairy feeder honors and pocketed $1.80 a pound for her 535-pounder. Moore Farms of Canfield was top bidder.

Other trophies were awarded to Mindy Schuller, senior showman; Chad Raber, intermediate showman; and Cody Kurtz, junior showman.

Kelsey Gidley won the senior skillathon; Abby Zimmerman, intermediate; and Darby Elder, junior.

Twenty-five beef feeders brought $16,346.25, averaging $1.41 with champions and $1.30 without.

Forty-two dairy feeders brought $21,007.50, averaging $1.07 with champions and $1.02 without.

Tastes like chicken. After being knocked from the top spot last year, perennial poultry champion Josh Koon was back on top with his pen of two grand champion broilers.

Koon showed the champions in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

When the gavel fell, Nouveau Tech Service, represented by Claude Koon, had the high bid of $550 for the 13.875-pound pen.

The bid matched last year’s champion purse but was $70 less than Koon’s 1999 bid.

Kailyn Mowery exhibited the 13.562-pound reserve champion pen of broilers. Tom Koch of Tyson Foods purchased Mowery’s pen for $300, then donated the birds back for resale.

The second time around, the pen brought $100 for the Darrel Bacon Scholarship Fund.

Thirty-seven pens of chickens averaged $115.41 with champions and $97.71 without, totaling $4,270.

Turkeys. More and more 4-H’ers have realized the fun in exhibiting a market turkey – project numbers have skyrocketed from five in 1998 to 35 this year.

That growth allowed two new faces – each in their first year with the project – into the champion’s sale this year.

Irene Coy sold her 39-pound grand champion for $650 to Dr. Richard Simmons of North Lima. That bid was down $50 from last year but still higher than all other bids since 1998.

Ben Roberts sold his reserve champion, weighing 36 pounds, to Nemenz IGA for $150.

Thirty-five turkeys averaged $112.29 with champions and $94.85 without, totaling $3,930.

Sweet victory. Stephanie Gallegos-Riehl’s grand champion basket of goat milk fudge brought $250 a pound from Mill Creek Geological Services.

Anna Shreve’s reserve champion fudge basket brought $125 from attorney Lynn Maro.

Eight baskets of fudge brought $1,305, up $440 over last year.

Rabbits and fryers. Erika Satterfield’s pen of three meat rabbits brought $510 from Joe and Jeff Taylor. Stacy Cappitte’s reserve champion pen sold for $165 to Terno and Associates.

Amber Cappitte’s champion fryer sold for $195 to Jeff Taylor, and Satterfield’s reserve fryer brought $60 from attorney Lynn Maro.

Thirteen meat pens brought $885 and 11 fryers brought $775.

Recognized. Before sales both nights, the livestock committee recognized key players in junior fair livestock success.

Walter Yeager was named honorary barn watchman for more than 40 years of service. Hugh and Laura Stacy were recognized for more than 25 years of assistance in livestock sale billing.

Auctioneers and ringmen who donated their time were Bill and Ken Baer, Don Braham, Mark Harding and Barry Pidgeon.

(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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