Temperatures, bids soar at Columbiana County Fair


LISBON, Ohio – The heat was on at this year’s Columbiana County Fair, as the mercury rose into the 90s during several days of last week’s fair run.

Daytime attendance was sparse because of the scorching heat, but the weather didn’t deter fairgoers in the evening, said fair official Terri Hunter. Overall attendance is estimated at approximately 40,000, which matches last year’s attendance figures.

“Every single day, within a few hundred visitors, we had average attendance,” Hunter said. “Some days were higher and some days were a little lower, but it was all just about average.”

Country music artist David Lee Murphy performed to the grandstand crowd on Saturday night.

The three nights of the junior fair market livestock sale showed support of the county’s youth hasn’t wavered. Unofficial total of the sale (rabbit and poultry totals not reported) was $235,234.80.

$12 steer. There’s always an air of anticipation when the grand champion steer enters the sale ring. This year, it was Alexis Thomas of East Rochester at the halter of the grand champion and when auctioneer Ken Baer’s gavel fell, she was a quick $16,680 richer.

Longtime steer sale supporter Thompson Bros. Mining paid a hefty $12 a pound for Thomas’ 1,390-pound champion, not quite hitting the record $12.25 mark set in 1999, but doubling the $6 and $5 bids earned by the grand champion steers in 2000 and 2001.

Erin Mellinger benefited from the bidding fever when she brought in her 1,240-pound reserve champion steer. Village Sparkle Markets paid $5 for the reserve steer, a bid also well above the 2000 and 2001 prices.

Jenny Basich raised the grand champion steer project, which includes scoring in showmanship, skillathon and live animal classes. The 1,260-pound steer sold for $2.25 a pound to Pipelines Inc.

Trista Houck’s reserve champion steer project, weighing 1,110 pounds, sold for $1.40 a pound to Salem Giant Eagle.

Steer showmanship honors went to: Kelsey Baker, junior showmanship; Kelsi Garwood, intermediate and showman of showmen; Aubry Walker, senior division. Skillathon winners were: Nicole Richey, junior division; Ben Steiner, intermediate; and Samantha Steiner, senior.

The 69 steers averaged $1.46 a pound, including champions; $1.25 a pound, without champions. The sale totaled $102,563.75.

. Hogs average $2.18 Josh Bardo ended his 2002 junior fair livestock project in grand style – grand champion hog style, that is.

Bardo raised a 256-pound hog that won grand champion honors at this year’s junior market livestock show.

And on sale night, Bardo received a grand bid to match his efforts.

Nemenz Food Stores paid a hefty $10 a pound for Bardo’s champion, matching the record set in 1999.

Max Sharp raised the reserve champion hog. Village Sparkle Markets paid $5 a pound for the 246-pound reserve champion, a bid up substantially from last year’s $3.60 a pound paid for the reserve hog.

In the hog carcass show, Nathan and Seth Sharp battled for top honors, with Nathan coming out on top with his 230-pound liveweight hog. Hanover Farms, the Zehentbauer family, paid $3 a pound for the champion carcass hog. Sebring Dental paid $2.25 a pound for Seth Sharp’s 266-pound reserve champion carcass hog.

In the overall project competition – which tallies the exhibitor’s showmanship and skillathon scores with live hog placing – Luke Merrick won the Best Project trophy. Nemenz Food Stores bought this champion, too, with a bid of $2 a pound.

Merrick was the senior showmanship winner and overall hog showman of showmen.

Junior showmanship winner was Codey Baker and the intermediate showmanship winner was Caitlin Wiley.

The 118 hogs averaged $2.26 a pound including champions; $2.18, without. The hog sale totaled $65,453.30.

Lamb. Karli Kitzmiller and Stacy Adams, both of Homeworth, may have finished first and second, respectively, in the market lamb competition, but their bids matched perfectly. Both the grand and reserve lambs sold for $8.75 a pound, not a record for the grand champion, but an unofficial record for the reserve champion lamb.

Terry’s Tire Town of Alliance bought Kitzmiller’s 130-pound lamb and Nemenz Food Stores bought Adams’ 125-pound reserve champion.

Kitzmiller was also the sheep junior showmanship winner.

Kim Rhodes raised the grand champion lamb carcass, which sold for $4 a pound to Hanover Farms. Samantha Cope’s reserve champion lamb carcass sold for $3.75 a pound to Kiko Meats.

Cope also won honors with the Best Market Lamb Project, scored on showmanship, skillathon and live animal. Cope was the intermediate showmanship winner and overall showman of showmen. Farm and Dairy bought the 127-pound lamb.

Esther Bardo was the senior sheep showmanship winner.

The 30 market lambs averaged $3.72 a pound with the champions; $3.36 a pound, without; The lamb sale totaled $12,891.50.

Goats. Katie Welsh’s 130-pound Boer goat topped the field of six market goats to win the grand champion banner. Margaret Hull paid $4 a pound for the champion.

Rob Sekely matched that bid for Chelsee Anderson’s reserve champion market goat weighing 80 pounds.

Dairy beef feeders. Thursday night’s steer sale also featured the sale of 77 head of dairy beef feeder calves.

Justin Stryffeler’s 610-pound grand champion dairy beef feeder calf sold for $1.50 a pound to Sugarcreek Livestock Auction, matching the bid placed for the grand champion last year.

A solemn moment in the dairy beef feeder sale came when the project of 4-H’er Travis Ryan of Leetonia sold in the No. 3 spot. Ryan, who died in February, was the beef feeder showman of showmen in 2000. The calf sale proceeds went to the Travis Ryan Make and Difference Memorial Scholarship. Damascus Livestock Auction bought the 605-pound calf for $2.75 a pound, and at the end of the feeder calf sale, auctioneer Rusty Kiko announced dairy beef feeder exhibitor families and friends had contributed a total of $1,155 to the fund overall.

Showmanship winners were: Lindsey Smith, senior; Heather Kitzmiller, junior and showman of showmen; and Jenny Greenisen, intermediate.

The 77 feeder calves averaged 99 cents, including the champions; 98 cents, without. The sale totaled $37,545.50.

Cheese lovers bid. Cinda Unkefer kept the Unkefer family championship string alive, as her Jersey topped the cheese yield competition at this year’s fair. The contest winner is selected based on one day’s cheese production, calculated on a 305-day lactation average. Unkefer led the pack of 33 entries with a cheese yield of 10.80 pounds of cheese and .20 pounds butter.

Ramsey Hoof Trimming, Stryffeler Farm Custom Baling and Witmer’s Feed and Grain teamed up to buy the top cheese lot for $1,100.

Adam Crist’s reserve cheese yield entry of 10.74 pounds cheese and .15 pound butter sold for $1,050 to Peppel Milk Transport.

The 33 lots averaged $466.67 and totaled $15,400.

Small animal sale. Friday night’s market rabbit and poultry sale competed briefly with a severe storm that blew in for 15 minutes, but auctioneer Ken Baer got the sale rolling, garnering a bid of $600 for Taylor Borland’s grand champion pen of three meat chickens. Renkenberger Farms bought the champion pen.

The bid was short of last year’s record $960 mark.

Kelly Oil Products paid $225 for the reserve champion pen raised by Kelly Simmons, down from last year’s $330 bid.

The 23 pens averaged $7.44 a pound, including the champions; $5.89 a pound, without.

Joshua Jones’ grand champion rabbit pen sold for $375 to Lazy H Farm & Fence, up from last year’s top bid of $285. Carl Barricks’ reserve champion pen sold for $300 to the Minerva Dairy Queen. The grand champion fryer, raised by Seth Fieldhouse, was part of a pen that brought $165 from Rogers Community Auction. The reserve fryer and penmates, raised by Joel Newburn, sold to Lisbon Chiropractic Clinic.

The rabbit sale averaged $15.34 a pound including champions; $14.08, without champions.


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