Phenomenal fair nets more than $113,000 at livestock auction

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Peg Ehlers couldn’t have said it better. “It was a phenomenal fair,” she said.

Great weather. Great attendance. Great animals and projects were shown. And lots of fun at the 2014 Switzerland County 4-H Fair.

It all came to an end late Saturday afternoon with a livestock auction that raised $113,423.32. That’s the second best total in the history of the livestock auction. “It was a very successful sale,” said Swizerland County Extension Agent Peg Ehlers.

The best-ever came in the year 2000 when the livestock auction netted $125,225. Last year’s total was $108,640, which is the fourth best overall. The third best total was in 2001 when it came to $108,720.

Peg Ehlers said the best part about the auction is how it benefits the county youth. “Those individuals at the auction often use that money to save for college and other educational opportunities,” and as they better themselves that goes back into the community for great local citizens.

Will Pike had the Grand Champion Steer, which sold for $4,600, just slightly below the record of $4,800 in 2012. Last year’s Grand Champion Steer sold for $3,200. This year’s winner was purchased by RS Homes, Cutter Farms, Dickerson Auto Body and Friendship State Bank/Insurance.

Hailey Gerster had the Reserve Grand Champion Steer, which sold for $3,500 and was purchased by VB Cattle. There were 10 steers in this year’s livestock auction that sold for an average of $2,845.

Hailey Gerster also had the Grand Champion Swine and the Reserve Grand Champion Swine. She sold the Grand Champion Swine for $1,843.32 to North Bend Farms. That’s an increase from last year’s champion that sold for $1,350. Hailey Gerster didn’t sell her Reserve Grand Champion Swine. There were a total of 54 swine that sold for a total of $43,068.32, an average price of $797.56.

Janalynn Hon had the Grand Champion Dairy, which sold for $1,250. That’s an increase from last year’s Grand Champion Dairy that sold for $700. The buyer was Switzerland County Republican Party and Schenck Mansion Bed and Breakfast. Natalie Newman had the Reserve Grand Champion Dairy that sold to Hilltop Basic Resources for $1,175. There were a total of four in the dairy category that sold for $3,975 total and an average of $993.75.

Lane Penick’s Grand Champion Rabbit sold for $650, an increase from last year’s total of $550. It was purchased by Schuler Farms and RS Homes. Hannah Romans sold the Reserve Grand Champion Rabbit for $400 to Ken Roberts. There were 18 rabbits that sold for a total of $5,530 with an average price of $307.22.

Hannah Romans had the Grand Champion Poultry, which was sold to Friendship State Bank and Friendship Bank Insurance for $800. That’s more than last year’s Grand Champion Poultry that sold for $625. Shelby Henry sold the Reserve Grand Champion Poultry to Dickerson Auto Body and RS Homes for $625. The were 26 in Poultry for a total of $7,950 with average price of $305.77.

Dakota Taylor had the Grand Champion Goat that sold to Bowling Farm Equipment, Fairview Grocery, Romans Family Farm, Dickerson Auto Body and Clifty Garden and Animal Supply. The selling price was $1,300, nearly double of last year’s Grand Champion Goat that sold for $700. Dakota Richards had the Reserve Grand Champion Goat which sold for $850 to Bar-Tie Construction. There were 35 goats for a total of $17,775 for an average price of $507.86.

Mary Streett had the Grand Champion Halter Horse that sold for $600 to Bob’s Tack Shop and Friendship State Bank.

The volume buyer was Haskell and Morrison Funeral Home, a feat achieved without purchasing any Champions or Reserve Champions. In all, Haskell and Morrison purchased 14 animals in the fair.

The auctioneers were Bobby Owings and Denny Brown. The appraiser was Cox Livestock of Versailles. Lockers were Napoleon Locker, Pate’s Slaughering and Wayne’s Meats. Eric Cole ran the program.

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Peg Ehlers was back actively involved in the Switzerland County 4-H Fair after 10 years in Dearborn County. She’s glad to be back in Switzerland County as the extension agent, and the best part is seeing “4-Her’s that I worked with previously are now in leadership roles. To come back and now see them in leadership is really wonderful,” she said.

And Peg Ehlers is excited to see what the current 4-H members are achieving. “It’s great to see the development and quality of the projects. It’s phenomenal,” she said.

Many of the projects will be displayed at the Indiana State Fair, which will be held August 1st to August 17th in Indianapolis. “The projects that we’re taking to the state fair are outstanding, and are a nice representation of what we have in the county,” she said, noting Switzerland County projects always make a good impression when displayed alongside projects from all of the state’s 92 counties. “It’s amazing how Switzerland County projects stand out. We have exceptional projects.”

In addition to what 4-H members learn from their projects, Peg Ehlers said they also better themselves through “collaboration and team building,” which are skills that will help them to succeed in life. “It’s a growing process, and it’s wonderful to see them take what they’ve learned and use it,” she said.

Peg Ehlers noted 4-H members gain a lot from their work throughout the fair. “The youth help with the announcing, give out prizes and ribbons, and help in many other ways. It’s a real team effort of everyone for the fair to be successful,” she said.

Also, “it takes a lot of volunteers and a lot of other people to making it a great 4-H fair,” she said.

And this year’s fair was a great one. “It was a perfect week,” she said. “We had the best week of all summer for the weather. We had a good crowd watching the livestock shows; several viewing the exhibit hall projects and saying how nice the the exhibits were, and how nice the exhibit hall looked. I’m very pleased with the success of the fair.”