Victors say goodbye to their champions at 4-H Fair meat animal sale
JANESVILLE—Rock County 4-H Fair's meat animal sale set another record Friday.
Bidders spent $474,000 to buy 440 animals.
That's $55,000 more than last year when bidders spent $419,000 to buy 365 animals, said Austin Arndt, co-chair of the meat animal sale.
"The record is due to the great support we have from businesses," Arndt said.
The sale is a annual event were local businesses and individuals pay premium prices to encourage the children who raised animals for the fair. The money goes back to the kids, and many local youngsters have started college funds with the money.
The highest bids went to the champion and reserve champion steers, barrows and wethers.
Cade Austin's champion steer yielded the highest price, but not without some convincing. The crowd went quiet after several bids, so auctioneer Bob Johnson noted that Cade is a neighbor of his.
“I know he works pretty hard,” Johnson said, trying to appeal to the audience.
Cade said his steer is homegrown and he does his grocery shopping at Woodman's, which won him more bids, including one from the grocery store.
McNall Farms farm paid $6 a pound for the 1,316-pound animal, a total of $7,896.
Sydnie Ochs sold her reserve champion steer for $4.25 a pound when the auctioneer pointed out it had been a close call between the top two animals for the championship.
Emilee Wynstra's 272-pound grand champion barrow sold for $6 a pound to Woodman's, totaling $1,632. She's putting the money toward college, she said.
Austin Lynd plans to spend his winnings the same way, but he will use some of the money to pay for the feed he used to raise his reserve champion barrow. It sold for $1,862.
Grace Peterson, 11, took center stage next with her champion wether while her younger brother Tucker, 9, stood by holding her trophy.
The auctioneer announced the Petersons will donate half of their winnings to the Rock County 4-H Alumni Association.
“They're long-time participants at the fair,” he said.
The 143-pound lamb sold to HWW, a group of private individuals, for $22.50 a pound for a total of $3,217.50.
Rylee Ochs' reserve champion wether took more convincing to sell, but the wait was worth it.
Ford dealer Gordie Boucher bid $23 when the auctioneer announced the 15-year-old plans to shop for her first car at the dealership.
Team Red Syndicate outbid the business and bought the wether for $24 a pound.