By Amy Beth Graves | Contributing Writer
COLUMBUS — Alan Boogher made sure he was early at the Ohio State Fair’s Sale of Champions, on Aug. 4.
The owner and operator of A.G. Boogher and Son Inc., a grain and chemical company in Wapakoneta, Ohio, he didn’t want to miss out on any of the bidding. He was eager to help out the young livestock exhibitors.
“It’s been a horrible year in agriculture in the state of Ohio. We want the kids to realize we’re here for you, for good times and also for bad times,” he said after he and several other businesses joined forces to purchase the grand champion Swiss cheese for $28,000, tying last year’s record.
In the end, the 52nd annual sale broke four records: reserve champion market beef, $56,000; reserve champion market barrow, $35,000; reserve grand champion market lamb, $27,500; and grand champion market turkey, $16,500.
All of the sale’s livestock was auctioned for a total of $328,000, the highest amount since 2014. Of that amount, $239,000 went to the Youth Reserve Program, which supports carcass contests, scholarships, outstanding market exhibitor program, outstanding breeding exhibitor program, showmanship, skillathons, 4-H and FFA.
The Youth Reserve Program has awarded about $3.6 million to approximately 40,000 youth exhibitors since its inception in 1995.
“The Sale of Champions celebrates the hard work and dedication of the junior fair livestock exhibitors, whose efforts have led up to this moment. It’s a day they will remember their entire lives. I’d like to offer a sincere thank you to the many generous buyers who support not only these champions but junior exhibitors of the future who benefit from funds raised today for the Youth Reserve Program,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, who arrived at the sale late because he and his wife, Fran, were in Dayton, dealing with the aftermath of a mass shooting that occurred early on Aug. 4.
“These buyers make a huge impact on all young exhibitors here at the fair, whether they are participating in the All-Ohio State Fair Band and Youth Choir, a sewing competition or exhibiting their animals,” Ohio State Fair General Manager Virgil Strickler said.
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