News Staff Reporters
MOUNT VERNON — Thursday was a day of highs and lows for Knox County 4-H’ers. The highs included money received for the sale of their grand champion and reserve champion animals, while the lows included the tears of watching a favorite pet be hauled away at the sale.
Grand and reserve champions in 10 different species were sold as part of Sale Day at the Knox County Fair. Also sold was a large basket of dairy products to raise money for those 4-H’er who brought dairy cows to the fair.
The Grand Champion Turkey was sold by Rachel Wilson of Danville FFA for $1,700 to John Hinderer Honda.
This is the second time Wilson has had a grand champion turkey at the Knox County Fair. She plans to use the money to pay for college. Wilson is hoping to attend the Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster. Her favorite thing about being an FFA member is going to various competitions.
The Reserve Champion Turkey was sold by Macey Gage of Smokin’ Spurs 4-H Club for $1,350 to State Senator Andrew Brenner.
Gage earned her first trip to the Sale of Champions with her Reserve Grand Champion Turkey, which she had raised since March. “I’m feeling very good,” she said as she prepared to enter the sale arena. The rising high school senior from Fredericktown also shows horses, earning Reserve Champion in the Horse Show’s “Versatility” category. She is putting her earnings into a college fund.
Amanda Annett, of Utica and the Wranglers 4-H Club, had the Grand Champion Market Dairy Steer, which weighed 1,478 pounds, and the Grand Champion Dairy Market Feeder, which came in at 634 pounds. Her Diary Steer sold for $4.25 a pound and was bought by John Hinderer Honda. The Market Feeder sold for $6.75 a pound to Small’s Asphalt Paving, Inc.
She has been involved in the fair with her steers for the past eight years and oftentimes ends up in the sale of champions with one. The money she won will be used to help pay for college.
“It’s pretty hard,” she said about selling her steers. “They’re my best bud but I wouldn’t spend my summer any other way. … (4-H) is a pretty great program.”
Taylynn Morningstar of East Knox FFA showed the Reserve Champion Market Dairy Steer, which sold for $3.75 per pound ($5,070 total) to Burch Family Mow N Go Lawncare.
Morningstar will keep her money safe in the bank until she goes to college. The senior plans to attend the Ohio State University-Newark campus and study Veterinary Science. Morningstar advised the most important thing for raising a good, healthy cow is dedication.
“You’ve got to make sure you’re feeding them right, that they have water, that you’re taking them on walks, spraying them off so they don’t get too hot … making sure they’re happy, healthy animals,” she said.
Bryer Boeshart of Chapelview Barn Buddies 4-H Club sold three champion animals Thursday.
His first, the Grand Champion Market Goat, sold for $56 per pound ($4,984) to Riverside Recovery Services, while his Reserve Champion Market Goat sold for $40 per pound ($3,640) to Beheler Excavating. He also had the Reserve Champion Market Hog, which sold for $15 per pound ($4,170) to First-Knox National Bank.
Boeshart, 13, of Danville, said he was “really excited” with his Sale of Champion results, which is a bit understated. He performed with a true “trifecta” of sorts: first with his Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Market goats of the Boer variety, which he named Copper and Phil. Then to top it off, he took Reserve Grand Champion Market Hog and Heavyweight Division Reserve Champion. He is saving toward college. Boeshart has prior Sale of Champions experience, having earned Grand Champion with market rabbits last year.
Alice Ulrey, who is involved in the Clinton Clovers 4-H Club, had the Grand Champion Broilers which sold for $2,000 to Conard Hill Farms.
She said that she’s planning on putting the money in the bank in hopes of saving it to possibly buy a house.
It’s an exciting experience, she said, selling her broilers. In previous years, she had won things with her goats but this is her first year with broilers. She plans on doing the fair next year with broilers again.
The Reserve Champion Broilers, shown by Wade Mickley of Cabin Crew 4-H Club, sold for $1,700 to State Rep. Rick Carfagna.
This is Mickley’s first time in the champion’s ring, but he was proud of his birds even before he earned the ribbon.
“I knew these birds were good birds,” he said. “Reserve champion is a big plus.”
Mickley has been showing broilers at the fair for five years.
“It’s taught me responsibility and I’ve made some friends along the way,” he said.
Mickley will save the money from the sale and put it towards college tuition. He doesn’t know where he wants to attend, but he wants to go to medical school and become an allergist.
Brock Stute, a member of Green Valley Giants 4-H Club, sold his Grand Champion Market Hog for $23 per pound ($6,325 total). John Hinderer Honda bought the hog.
Stute, 13, a Fredericktown Middle School student, fared well with his Grand Champion Market Hog, which was also the Heavyweight Division champion. No stranger to the Sale of Champions arena, he was also a Grand Champion winner with a goat when he was 9. He plans to apply his earnings toward welding machinery. “I’m really happy. There’s a lot of work and time put in with my hog,”
Justin Zollars, who is in the Blue Ribbon Livestock 4-H Club, sold his Grand Champion Market Fryers for $3,750 to Alumni Roofing Co. He had previously won reserve champion with his fryers and plans on competing again next year.
“I always put my winnings in my savings,” he said. He said he was a bit nervous starting out, but it always comes out good because all of the lovely people who are attending the auction.
Peyton Freitag, a member of Top of the Valley 4-H Club, sold the Reserve Champion Market Fryers for $2,000 to Alumni Roofing Company
This is Freitag’s second year showing rabbits. He plans to use his winnings to buy himself a pair of cowboy boots.
“It completes the style,” he said.
Ethan Staley of Fredericktown’s Grand Champion Market Beef sold for $3 per pound, a total of $4,011 to Beheler Excavating.
Staley, 15, a member of Blue Ribbon Livestock 4-H Club, named his peach-colored Grand Champion steer “Cookie Dough,” while offering, “but I also call him ‘Whitey.’” The steer has a brand in the shape of an arrow. Staley traveled all the way to western Colorado in September of last year to find Cookie Dough at a cattle showing event. They competed in beef shows during the winter to prepare both for his steer’s sale in the summer. Cookie Dough stays in a “cool room” that is kept at 45 degrees “so his hair will grow out more.” Staley, of Fredericktown, trains border collies to herd cattle and sheep. He will save his market sale earning to attend college in the future and study anesthesiology. Although he has won four Reserve Grand Champion awards during previous Knox County Fairs, saying goodbye to Cookie Dough is especially difficult.
“I don’t cry but deep down, it hurts me,” Staley said. “This is the best animal I’ve ever had and my favorite.”
Cassidy Small, who is involved in Boots and Banners 4-H Club, had the Reserve Champion Market Beef, which weighed 1,234 pounds and sold for $6 per pound to Small’s Sand and Gravel. This was her first year being involved in the Sale of Champions.
“I want to start a goat feedlot with my dad,” Small said when asked when what she wanted to do with the money. She said she wants to invest further towards that goal.
“It’s a bit sad after all the hard work but it has to happen,” she said regarding selling her steer.
Dairy products were sold by Knox County Dairy Service Unit for the dairy exhibitors, which was represented by Cheyenne Anders, supreme exhibitor. They garnished $6.75 per pound.
Anders represented the dairy product sale as an exhibitor of the supreme champion dairy cow owned by her employer, Alden Farms. Anders showed a total of 26 animals at this year’s fair, including the grand champion Brown Swiss, Holstein and Ayrshire cows. Her beef feeder placed fourth overall and she won second place showmanship awards in the waterfowl and dairy cow competitions.
A senior, Anders hopes to attend Columbus State and become a veterinary technician. While she isn’t considering a career in agriculture, she certainly values it.
“Farming and agriculture is the most important thing in the world today,” said Anders. “Without farmers, we wouldn’t have food to eat or clothes to wear. … Even though technology has changed and so has farming, we still go back to our roots.”
Alex Annett of Wranglers 4-H Club showed the Reserve Champion Dairy Market Feeder. It was sold to Loudonville’s Farmer’s Equity for $6 per pound ($3,264 total).
Alex Annett, 12, made it to his first Sale of Champions with Boone, his black-and-white Reserve Grand Champion Dairy Market Feeder. His older sister Amanda, 17, supported his effort, serving as a family mentor — she raised the Grand Champion Dairy Market Feeder. “I feel really amazing,” he said after coming out of the sale arena for photos, his sister at his side. He plans to salt some earnings away for college.
Caleb McKee sold his Grand Champion Pen of Three Market Lambs, totaling 391 pounds, to John Hinderer Honda at $3.50 per pound. He is involved in the Clinton Clovers 4-H Club and has had previous wins with the pen of three lambs and with a beef steer.
“The first couple years is pretty hard (to sell them) but you get used to it. It’s still sad to see them go,” he said. He plans on saving the money for college.
Chesnee Fairall, a member of Animals R Us 4-H Club, had the Reserve Champion Pen of Three Market Lambs. She sold them for $5 per pound, or $1,715 total, to Huffs Fine Jewelry.
Fairall is a seventh-grader, but she already has four years of experience showing animals at the fair.
During the past four years, Fairall has shown pigs, lambs, cows and steers at the Knox County Fair. Beef cows are her favorite to raise and show.
“They’re a lot bigger and more challenging,” she said. “When you have a steer, it’s for the entire year, so it’s like part of your family, your best friend.”
This is her second year in a row as the reserve grand champion winner for market lambs.
“I was really excited because I worked really hard for it,” she said.
Even though college is a long way off, she plans to attend UCLA and become an architect.
Mason Reynolds made $2,130 or $15 per pound with the sale of his Grand Champion Market Lamb. The Animals R Us 4-H Club member sold his lamb to United Producers Inc. of Mount Vernon and United Producers of Bucyrus.
Reynolds is just 9 years old, so raising the Grand Champion Market Lamb and doing so well during his first showing at the Sale of Champions raises the question, “Where do you go from here?” His father, Adam Reynolds, provided the answer: “We’ve got places to go. We’re supposed to be up at the Ohio State Fair (showing lambs).” The family raises 115 head of sheep on Morgan Center Road. “Mason has put in a lot of hard work,” he said. He was also supported at the market sale by his 5-year-old sister, Paisley, and his mom, Ashley.
Aiden Anderson, part of the Animals R Us 4-H Club, sold his Reserve Champion Market Lamb, which weighed 139 pounds, to South Eastern Equipment Company at $13 per pound.
He said he really didn’t know what he was planning on doing with the money but saving it was a possibility. It was his first time being in the Sales of Champions and he said he feels pretty good about it. He plans to show lambs again next year.