The Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions livestock auction Aug. 4, 2019 showcased Ohio’s premium livestock, premier Junior Fair exhibitors and generous supporters. On the sale bill were grand champion and reserve champion market beef, market barrows and market lambs, 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 full, the livestock was auctioned for a total of $328,000.
Ohio Farm Bureau and partners Bob Evans Farms, Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association, Event Marketing Strategies, and Tim and Glenda Huffman and family purchased the grand champion market barrow, exhibited by Elijah Keplinger, from Clark County.
A high point of the Junior Fair program, the Sale of Champions was established in 1968 and showcases the animals that are selected as the premium entry in their species. This year’s sale broke four records: reserve grand champion market beef, reserve grand champion market barrow, reserve grand champion market lamb and grand champion market turkey.
“Our supportive buyers not only help these individual exhibitors, but also support the thousands of youth exhibiting each year through the Fair’s Youth Reserve Program,” said Ohio State Fair General Manager Virgil Strickler. “These buyers make a huge impact on all young exhibitors here at the Fair, whether they are participating in the All-Ohio State Fair Band and Youth Choir, a sewing competition, or exhibiting their animals. Today, the buyers funded $239,500 for the Youth Reserve Program to be spread among our youth.”
Established in 1995, the Youth Reserve Program’s 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. Prior to the 2019 Ohio State Fair’s opening, the Youth Reserve Program had awarded $3,533,315 to approximately 40,000 youth exhibitors since its inception.
“The Sale of Champions celebrates the hard work and dedication of the Junior Fair livestock exhibitors, whose efforts have led up to this moment,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “It’s a day they will remember their entire lives. I’d like to offer a sincere thank you to the many generous buyers who support not only these champions but junior exhibitors of the future who benefit from funds raised today for the Youth Reserve Program.”