SALEM, Ohio – Fingers have quit dancing on calculator keypads and it’s official: Thousands of youth livestock exhibitors pocketed more than $6.2 million this year at county fairs across the tri-state area.
This year’s junior fair livestock auction receipts bested last year’s by more than $1 million.
More coverage. Farm and Dairy and your county fair go together, and we’ve proven it by offering coverage of 32 fairs in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia this summer.
Staff reporters and correspondents spent long days and nights in sale barns and show arenas, in sweltering heat and thunderstorms, to bring readers results.
Not every fair in the tri-state area made our pages. However, we did expand coverage this year with help from readers who sent in sale and show results, adding Knox County to our lineup, and expanding dairy sale coverage in other counties as well.
Clean sweep. No young person swept fair competition like Callie Chapman in Washington County, Pa. Chapman snagged four grand champions, including steer, hog, lamb and goat.
County extension personnel say it’s the first time in county history for a young person to make that kind of a showing.
And nobody beat the high bid of $61 per pound for Chapman’s grand champion lamb, put in by Sarris Candies in Canonsburg, Pa.
Family traditions. The Kline family kept up its dynasty in Stark County, with sisters Laura and Louise Kline taking champion and reserve champion steers and hogs, and Louise Kline taking grand champion lamb.
It was a similar situation in Summit County, were perennial winner Alisa Shenigo took grand and reserve champion steers, grand champion hog and grand champion lamb. Danielle Hasbrouck squeezed in reserve honors in both the hog and lamb categories.
The Domitroviches kept up their winning ways at the Hookstown Fair. Theresa Domitrovich showed the champion lamb and Cheryl showed the reserve champion, and Caitlyn showed the reserve champion steer.
Fair standing. Wayne County stayed at the top of all fair auction totals, fortified by a strong youth program and its 83 steers, 100 lambs and 362 hogs, with receipts totaling $510,990.05. Wayne County topped all reported fairs last year as well.
Stark County’s $415,343.05 held it strong again in second place, followed by Ashland County at $410,059.23; newcomer Knox County, $393,149.40; and Tuscarawas County, $324,590.
Close behind were last year’s fourth- and fifth-highest grossing fairs, Holmes County and Mahoning County, at $282,999.05 and $270,682.20, respectively.
Steers. Ashland County’s Stephanie Litten had the highest bid on any grand champion steer covered this fair season. Her high bid of $11 per pound was also a county record.
Last year, it was Geauga County’s Julie Clemson who had the highest steer bid at $8.70 per pound. This year, Clemson repeated with another champion steer, but took home an $8-per-pound bid.
Other high champion steer bids were Andrew Castella, Wayne County, $8; Callie Chapman, Washington, Pa., $7.50; and Dayna Filges, Butler, Pa., $7 per pound.
The top bid for reserve champion steer was Ashland County’s Bill Keener, who got $6 a pound.
Other notable reserve champion steer bids were Wayne’s Ben Stoller, $5; Tuscarawas’ Kaci Himes, $4.25; and Columbiana’s Alexandria Cope and Butler County’s Whitney Edwards, both at $4 per pound.
The reserve champion steer in Ashtabula County, owned by Tricia Lautanen, outbid the champion by a nickel. Keirsten Harris’ reserve champion in Jefferson County outbid that champion by a dime per pound.
Hard-to-win hogs. With 362 competing for only one top spot, it’s a hard win in Wayne County’s market hog competition. It’s no surprise that fair would also have the top-selling hog in Farm and Dairy coverage area.
The 2004 champion, showed by Rochelle LeFever, brought $30 per pound, down from last year’s $41-per-pound grand champion bid, but jaw-dropping nonetheless.
Other high hog bids were in Washington, Pa., $15; and Ashland, Mahoning and Jefferson County, $13 per pound.
Harley Ehrman’s $13-per-pound pig set a new Jefferson County sale record.
Top reserve champion hog bids were in Wayne, $14; Tuscarawas, $10.50; Mahoning County, $8.75; Knox, $8.25; and Washington, Pa., $7.75.
Reserve champions outbid the grand champion market hogs in Loudonville, by 45 cents; Mercer County, 40 cents; and Holmes and Portage counties, 25 cents.
Hot lambs. Lamb buyers always know to watch the auction action in Washington County, Pa., a fair known for its high-bid wars.
Repeat winner Callie Chapman beat all other lambs shown at that fair, and then went on to fetch a $61-per-pound bid for her project.
Chapman’s 2003 champion brought $26.50 per pound, down significantly from 2002’s bid of $69 per pound.
Other champion lamb bids were in Ashland County, $26; Wayne County, $25; Marshall County, W.Va., $15; and Holmes County, $12.
Ashland County proved it’s a lamb-lovers haven, too, when that fair’s reserve champion brought a noteworthy $18.50 per pound.
Other high reserve champion bids were in Washington County, $14; Guernsey County, $10.50; Butler County, Pa., $9.25; and $8.75 per pound in Carroll County and in Marshall County, W.Va.
Several reserve champion lambs outsold their champions, proving that having buyers for projects can pay off.
Second-place lambs brought more in Guernsey County, where the $10.50-per-pound reserve champion doubled the champion bid; Carroll County, outbid by $1.75; Butler County, by $1; and in Portage and Hookstown, by 25 cents.
Averages. The averages of champions and reserve champions sales reported in Farm and Dairy for 2004 are:
Grand champion steers: high, $11; low, $1; average price, $4.13.
Reserve champion steers: high, $6; low, $1; average price, $2.63.
Grand champion hogs: high, $30; low, $2.30; average price, $7.50.
Reserve champion hogs: high, $14; low, $1.70; average price, $5.08.
Grand champion lambs: high, $61; low, $2.20; average price, $10.09.
Reserve champion lambs: high, $18.50; low, $1.35; average price, $6.11.
Overall receipts from 32 county fairs totaled $6,292,264.67.
(Reporter Andrea Myers welcomes reader feedback by phone at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at email@example.com.)
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