The Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions livestock auction was held Sunday afternoon in the WCOL Celeste Center, and showcased Ohio’s premium livestock, premier Junior Fair exhibitors and generous supporters. On the sale bill were grand champion and reserve champion market lambs, market barrows and market beef, as well as grand champion market goat, grand champion and reserve champion market chickens, grand champion market turkey and a block of Swiss cheese to represent the seven dairy champions. In sum, the livestock was auctioned for a total of $269,500.
Ohio Farm Bureau collaborated with partners Bob Evans Farms, Event Marketing Strategies, Huffman’s Market, and Amusements of America to purchase the Grand Champion Market Barrow exhibited by Ashton Frey, of Wyandot County, for $36,000, of which Frey receives $10,000. Ashton is the son of Farm Bureau members Nathan and Marie Frey.
While Junior Fair exhibitors take great pride in raising a quality animal, the ultimate goal each year is to be awarded a grand champion banner. Grand or reserve champion is an immense honor for the exhibitor; and with the Youth Reserve Program and generous buyers, it is rewarding for the entire Junior Fair program. This year’s sale broke two records: Grand Champion Swiss Cheese sold for $26,000 and Grand Champion Market Turkey sold for $16,000.
“We wouldn’t have such a successful Sale of Champions if it weren’t for our talented and dedicated youth and our incredibly supportive buyers. Our Youth Reserve Program is very impactful to not just those in the Sale of Champions but for everyone involved in the youth organization. I like that we can reward everyone involved,” said Ohio State Fair General Manager Virgil Strickler. “We are exceptionally pleased with the $181,000 raised for the Youth Reserve Program at today’s Sale of Champions.”
Established in 1995, the Youth Reserve Program was developed to reward junior exhibitors who participate in the Ohio State Fair. Funds for the program come from the dollars received over a cap that is placed on the amount an exhibitor can receive from the Sale of Champions. The funds from the program are distributed among carcass contests, scholarships. outstanding market exhibitor program, outstanding breeding exhibitor program, showmanship, skillathons, 4-H and FFA. The Youth Reserve Program has awarded $3,020,530 to approximately 33,000 youth exhibitors since its inception.