Stark County Fair sale earns $384,000 for youth

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CANTON, Ohio – The weather put a damper on much of last week’s Stark County Fair, but not the junior fair market livestock sales on Wednesday and Saturday of fair week.

The two-day sale netted $384,128.78, up nearly $30,000 from last year’s total.

New hog record. The bids for 11-year-old Brandon Klehm’s grand champion hog came so fast Kiko auctioneer Lennie Milano had to take a breath and quip, “This is what I like! It’s so easy on an auctioneer!”

Milano started the bids at $5 a pound and with several quick nods, the bidding rose to $8, then $10, then $12 a pound.

The gavel finally struck the podium on a new record $13 a pound, topping the previous mark of $12.50 set in 1997.

A new buyer, Cloverleaf Cold Storage, bought the 265-pound bluebutt champion.

Unfortunately, the bidding frenzy didn’t carry over into the remaining champions.

Tyler Weisel sold his 273-pound reserve champion hog to Novatny Electric for $3.75 a pound, down a dollar from last year’s reserve champion bid.

Jason Kiko’s 273-pound carcass hog sold for $3.25 to Don Prather, down $1.25 from the 2002 bid, and Carrie Faverty’s reserve champion carcass hog brought $3 from Goat Hill Trucking, $1 less than her reserve champion carcass hog brought last year.

The 238 hogs netted $80,623.70 and averaged $1.41 a pound with the champions.

Steers. The 2002 grand champion steer exhibitor Laura Kline earned back-to-back grand champion honors in the junior fair steer show. Her 2003 grand champion, weighing 1,330 pounds, sold for $5.25 a pound to Fisher Foods.

Kline, who showed the grand champion steer in 2000, reserve champion steer in 1999 and the grand champion steer at the Ohio State Fair in 2001, is also the Stark County Beef Queen.

Megan Weisel, who won grand champion steer honors in 1999, sold her 1,360-pound reserve champion steer to Novatny Electric for $4.75 a pound.

Both grand and reserve champion bids were well above last year’s bids of $3.50 and $2.40.

Cousins Dustin and April Linder battled for the top spots in the carcass steer competition. Dustin’s 1,155-pound crossbred steer earned the blue ribbon and his grand champion carcass sold for $3.10 a pound to Biery Cheese.

April Linder’s reserve champion carcass steer sold for $2.90 a pound to K. Palmer & Associates and Kiko Meats.

The 107 steers totaled $192,225.15, averaging $1.47 a pound with champions.

Joshua Weisel won the senior steer skillathon; Michelle Linder won the intermediate division and Rachel Linder, junior division.

Exhibiting breed champions were: Bethann Miller, Hereford; Louise Kline, Simmental; Bethann Miller, Shorthorn; Chris Myers, Angus; John Bauman, Holstein; and Zach Soehnlen, Limousin.

Steer awards. The Stark County Cattlemen’s Association awarded its Distinguished Youth Beef Award to Cody McGill. McGill has taken steer projects for 10 years and will put his $500 bond award to use at Hocking Tech this fall.

The junior fair steer committee presented its Alumni Award to the late Martha Mottice.

Lambs. Many Stark County elected officials have been strong supporters of the junior fair market livestock sale, so it should have been no surprise to see siblings Carrie and Kellie Winters do a little bit of campaigning when it came time to sell their grand and reserve champion market lambs.

Both exhibitors sported white T-shirts emblazoned with logos supporting John Hagan, state representative.

The marketing effort worked for Carrie Winters, as her 125-pound grand champion lamb sold for $4.25 a pound to state Rep. John Hagan, Hagan Heating and Plumbing, Judge Dave Stucki, magistrate Mike Howard and state Sen. Kirk Schuring.

Kellie’s 140-pound reserve champion lamb sold for $4.25 a pound to veterinarian Gary Evanich, Nick and Andrea Evanich.

The T-shirts and glitter on the champion lambs were not quite enough, however, to spark bids higher than recent sales. The grand champion lamb sold for $67.5 a pound in 2002 and $9.25 a pound in 2001. The reserve brought $5.50 a pound last year and $7 in 2001.

Diana Bevington’s grand champion carcass lamb sold for $4 a pound to Gust Malavite Jr.

Jason Kiko’s reserve champion carcass lamb brought a bid of $3.50 a pound from his cousin Lori Kiko and uncle, Joe Kiko.

Last year’s carcass champions both brought $5.50 a pound.

Amber Ringer raised the champion rate-of-gain market lamb; Mary Kathryn Estock, the reserve champion.

The lambs sold for a total of $20,416.70, averaging $1.74 a pound with champions. Last year’s lamb sale averaged $1.78, including champions.

Wool sale. Stark County is one of the few junior fairs to include a wool competition, emphasizing how to care for the sheep to keep the wool clean, how sheep are sheared and how to care for the wool after shearing.

This year, Joe Rindchen won grand champion wool honors, selling his fleece to Judge Sara Lioi for $300.

Jonathan Stock’s reserve champion wool sold for $225 to Artistic Yarns.

The seven wool entries totaled $960 and averaged $137.14 per fleece.

Market goats. L.V. Kline shook off his runner-up mantle this year to claim the grand champion rosette in the market goat show. Kline, who showed the reserve champion goat in 2001 and 2002, raised this year’s grand champion goat.

His 86-pound Boer sold for $600 a pound to Paul Pohovey, John Hagan, Rohn Ranch Trailers, Hagan Heating and Plumbing, Judge Dave Stucki and state Sen. Kirk Schuring. The bid topped last year’s champion bid by $200.

Stephen Barr’s 109-pound reserve champion goat sold for $225 to John Hagan, Rohn Ranch Trailers and Paul and Dorothy Pohovey. Last year’s reserve champion brought $170.

The 23 goats totaled $4,705, averaging $204.57 per head, including champions.

Wednesday night sale. Chickens stole the show at the Wednesday night small animal sale.

First, the grand champion pen sold for a near-record $2,400. Then, after some serious number crunching, sale totals revealed chicken averages leapt $40 a pen over last year.

Linda Brahler’s parents and grandpa picked up the tab for the 15-year-old’s first-ever grand champion chicken pen, while the teen choked back tears of happiness.

The 15.4-pound purchase was recorded under the name Wolfe Ag Service, including Carl Wolfe and Joyce and Leo Brahler, and came out $800 ahead of last year’s winning bid.

Next in the ring, with 14.5 pounds of reserve champion chickens, was 4-H’er Neal Berkebile.

Five politicians pooled their money to buy the pen for $550. The group included Judge David Stucki, Chief Deputy Auditor Brant Luther, state Rep. John Hagan, Magistrate Mike Howard and Judge Charles Brown.

Sale total for the 81 pens of chickens jumped to $17,915 from $14,215 last year. Averages hit $223.94 with champions. Compared to three years ago, that average price increased $100.

Gobbling it up. Another upswing came just before the impressive chicken show.

Last year’s reserve champion turkey winner came ready to take it all this year. Fourteen-year-old Joshua Faverty can start his high school career this week talking about his grand champion turkey and the price he got for it.

Wallace Farm’s Feed Drive-Thru doubled last year’s champion price with a $500 bid for the 47-pound bird.

While Faverty tells his new classmates about his blue-ribbon gobbler, Neal Berkebile can tell his graduating class about his 46.4-pound reserve champion.

Kiko Auctioneers bought the turkey for $400 – a $125 increase from last year’s sale.

Sixteen turkeys sold for $2,575, averaging $160.94 a head with champions.

No cheese, please. Although grinning 4-H’ers paraded plates of cheese throughout the crowd, bidders weren’t buying like they did last year.

Ed Weisgarber picked up $500 for his 10.29-pound top cheese basket. This winning bid from Regula Transport didn’t come close to last year’s champion basket, which earned $1,250.

Town and Country Co-op shelled out $400 for Robert Weisgarber’s 9.39-pound reserve basket, but it was still just half of what the reserve basket raised last year.

Last year’s high prices surfaced again, though, when it came to Danny Schmucker’s basket. Once again his grandparents raised the ante with a $1,800 bid to celebrate their grandson’s last year of 4-H.

Big spenders Elwood and Donna Schmucker were the high buyers of Kellie Schmucker’s grand champ basket last year.

Fifteen cheese baskets contributed $8,135 to the overall sale total, with averages at $542.33.

Dairy feeders. Champion dairy feeder prices slumped, but the overall total jumped more than $10,000.

Harold’s Equipment picked up the $1.60-a-pound tab on Kenny Baum’s 650-pound champion dairy feeder, which was more than a dollar dip from 2002.

Brittany Weisant came in the ring next with her 550-pound reserve champ. The gavel fell with Andrew Conrad Trucking Inc.’s $1.70-a-pound bid – 80 cents shy of last year’s reserve price.

Eighty-one feeders sold for $57,123.25, averaging $1.26 a pound.

Repeat rabbits. For the second year straight, Kate Russel raised champion rabbits, but this year she had the added bonus of a reserve pen, too.

Her first-place rabbits added $400 to the 16-year-old’s championship fund and the reserve fryers chipped in another $300.

Smitty Auto Sales bought the 13.18-pound champion animals and Tractor Supply Center purchased the 11.85-pound reserve pen.

Seventeen pens of three rabbits each boosted the overall sale total by $2,025, averaging $119.12.

Kiko Auctioneers donated services for the annual sale.

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