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Going once, going twice: Livestock auction closes Jefferson County Junior Fair

GRAND CHAMPION — Curry Drilling was the buyer of the 1,352-pound grand champion market steer at the Jefferson County Junior Fair livestock auction at $8.60 per pound. Among those on hand were Ed and Shelley Vahalik, buyers; Harleigh Schaffer, 2020 junior fair queen; Gage Robinson, brother; and Shelby Robinson of Wildwood Critters, who raised the animal. (Photo by Esther McCoy)

SMITHFIELD — Prices did not go as high for purchases at the Jefferson County Junior Fair livestock auction this year as they did in 2019, with an exception of one pen of three rabbits that were raised by Autumn Grafton of 4-H Varieties, who received reserve champion.

The purchase of $1,200 was for an “Aunt Barb” in Tennessee and the high bid was made by Joelle Bensie, her niece.

Last year’s reserve pen sold for $600. The highest price for one pen in 2019 was $1,000.

The grand champion market steer sold for $8.60 per pound this year, with Curry Drilling the buyer. It was raised by Shelby Robinson of Wildwood Critters, and the honor stayed in the family as Gage Robinson, her brother had the top steer in 2019.

It was bittersweet, because Larry Mercer, their grandfather and a member of the fair board for many years, died this year.

The 2020 reserve champion sold for $7.60 per pound to Frank’s Bar and Grill, while the 2019 animal sold for $3.25. Owen Long, an independent, was third overall and received $2.50 per pound from J.J. Sales and Service.

Cameron Best of Free Spirits 4-H had the best rate of gain for the 1,609-pound steer, purchased by Professional Service for $2.50 per pound. Corey Randolph of Wildwood Critters had the 1,153-pound best bred champion, purchased for $3.35 per pound by Buckeye Mechanical.

The sale started with pens of three meat chickens and Blake Moran of Broken Fences had the grand champion and reserve pens. Encino was the buyer of the grand champion chickens at $450, and Debbie Martin and Zoey Zoellick purchased the reserve pen for $350.

Johanna George of Town and Country raised the grand champion pen of two market ducks, with Access Valley the buyer at $525. Aiden Cooper of Happy Hooves and Fancy Feathers had the reserve pen, with Encino the buyer at $750. Paul Pasco of Happy Hooves and Fancy Feathers raised the grand champion meat goose, with MarkWest the buyer at $475. The price was $1,000 in 2919. Lamont McCoy was the buyer of the reserve market goose at $525. It was $600 last year.

Ian Latynski of Town and Country 4-H had the grand champion meat turkey that was bought by Morelli Brothers at $775. The 2019 price was $1,050. The reserve champion was raised by Bryson Mattern of Country Road Runners, and purchased by Encino for $350. It went for $1,200 in 2019.

The grand champion market rabbits were sold for $550 to Toni Moreland of State Farm Insurance and were raised by Alayna Starr of Happy Hooves and Fancy Feathers. She had the 2019 grand champions as well.

The Fomenko brothers, both of Country Classics, took both titles for market goats, Logan had the grand champion that brought $675 from D&J Sales, and Lane had the reserve goat that brought $600 from MarkWest Energy.

Caleb Miller of Windy Ridge 4-H raised the 148-pound market lamb that sold for $22.75 per pound to David Scarpone. The reserve lamb brought $12 per pound for Giullianna Prolago of Sunrise Lads and Lasse. Colerain Market was the buyer.

Molly King of Free Spirits 4-H, raised the 275-pound grand champion market hog purchased at $16.50 per pound by Mike and Walter Keyster. Amanda Boring of Free Spirits raised the 286-pound hog that was purchased by Tri-State Financial Services at $13 per pound.

Colby Smith of Buckeye Variety Livestock raised the 685-pound dairy feeder calf steer that sold for $275 pounds to Birney Auctions.

The auction went along smoothly with only having a grand and reserve animal appear in the ring. It was completed by 7 p.m.

Everyone involved agreed it was a different kind of fair, but those attending seemed to enjoy it and many events were held for the 4-H’ers who stayed throughout the day. There was plenty of royalty from other counties who visited during the event. Harleigh Schaffer, 2020 county fair queen, served as host.

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