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August 14, 2012

Sale Of Champions Shatters Five Records
Event raises $159,210 for junior producers and state’s 4-H and FFA youth education programs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – “We’re proud of their support,” Acting Director of Agriculture Bob Flider said after Tuesday’s Sale of Champions at the Illinois State Fair.  “We’re grateful to the buyers, especially during this difficult time for agriculture.”

Those buyers opened their wallets and paid record-breaking prices for five animals in the annual auction of prize-winning state fair junior livestock.  With encouragement from Flider, Governor Pat Quinn and State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick, $159,210 was raised for the youngsters who exhibited the animals as well as the state’s 4-H and FFA youth education programs.

“We had such a high spirit among the people in attendance here who wanted to do the best for these youngsters showing livestock,” Flider said.

All of the champions were overwhelmed with the support, especially twelve-year-old Chelsea Wycoff. Wycoff, of Piper City, was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, and pledged to donate half of the money she earned to Easter Seals.

This announcement led not only to spirited bidding for Wycoff’s rabbit meat pen, but also generated more than $6,500 in cash donations to Easter Seals from the crowd when a large bucket was passed.  Wycoff’s rabbits sold for $6,200, and then were donated and sold again for another $3,400, with the total resale amount going to Easter Seals. 

“It was a lot more than I expected!” Wycoff exclaimed. “I’m glad I got as much as I did.”

The exhibitor of the grand champion wether, Caleb Whitcomb, 18, also was surprised at the outcome of the evening’s sale after his sheep was auctioned for $17,200, breaking the previous record by nearly $5,000.

“It was crazy. It all went so fast,” Whitcomb, of Greenview, said.  “I’m amazed!”

The largest record-breaking bid was for the grand champion steer shown by 16-year-old A.J. Line of Seaton.  His crossbred sold for a whopping $52,000, or $800 higher than the former record.

“It was an overwhelming experience,” Line said.  “I’m very blessed to have received that much.”

 Line also was charitable, donating 10 percent of his winnings to the Orion Samuelson Hospital at St. Mary’s OSF.

Other records were set for the champion barrow, which earned 17-year-old Trey Fecke of Bonfield $24,500, the Land of Lincoln Supreme Champion dairy print, which netted Trent Kilgus $3,000, and the Land of Lincoln champion barrow, which brought Kane Austin $11,000.

The junior producers who raised the champion animals receive 80 percent of the sales price. The 4-H and FFA programs split the remaining 20 percent equally. 
A list of all the champions sold at the auction, as well as the exhibitors, the purchasers, and the amount that each champion sold for follows.  The record-breaking amounts are in bold:

Grand Champion Aged Cheddar Cheese
Shullsburg Creamery
Cory Craig and William Beck
Donated to the U of I
Grand Champion Havarti Cheese
Swiss Valley Farms
University of Illinois: Phyllis Wise, Robert Easter, Bob Hauser, I. Adesida
Grand Champion Feather Ridge Cheese
Ludwig Farmstead Creamery
Rich Wagner, Lee Gaule
Grand Champion Kickapoo Cheese
Ludwig Farmstead Creamery
Hampton Family
Grand Champion Bacon
Eickman’s Processing Co.
Deb and Paul Turner
Grand Champion Ham
Elburn Meat Market
Senator Sam McCann
Grand Champion Summer Sausage
Leidings Meat & Catering
George Obernagel
Grand Champion Processed Beef
Thrushwood Farms
IL State Auctioneers Assoc. & Farm Credit
Donated to the U of I
Best of Show Illinois Wine
Prairie State Winery
Deb and Paul Turner
Grand Champion Honey
Christopher Saad
Top Line Farms
Grand Champion Doe’s Milk
Evan Jodlowski
Parker Elvidge
Grand Champion Rabbit Meat Pen
Chelsea Wycoff
Beck’s Hybrid, Agrivest Inc., Friends of Rodger Wycoff
Grand Champion Poultry Trio
Jennie Foster
Davis Family McDonalds and Battery Specialist
Land of Lincoln Supreme Champion Female Print
Trent Kilgus
Prairie Farms Dairy
Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Meat Goat Wether
Dylan Hummel
Mendenhall Ag Service, Thornridge Farms & E-Grain
Grand Champion Meat Goat Wether
Tara Hummel
Dr. Margaret MacGregor, Parker and Jason Elvidge
Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Wether
Gretchen Simpson
Wells Fargo Bank, Stone Seed Group, 1st Farm Credit, Purlee Farms, Frank Hoffreiter, Illini Sprayer, Parks Livestock
Donated to Central IL Food Bank
Grand Champion Wether
Caleb Whitcomb
North American Midway Entertainment, Sauder Family, Petefish Skiles Bank, Friends of Whitcomb Family
Donated to Central IL Food Bank
Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Barrow
Kane Austin
Sloans Implement, Sky Ride, Mt. Sterling Bank, Land of Lincoln Swine Breeders, Friends of Austin Family
Donated to the U of I
Grand Champion Barrow
Trey Fecke
Brandt Consolidated and Cargill
Donated to the U of I
Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Steer
Riley Allspach
DuPont, Pioneer, Friends of Allspach Family
Donated to the U of I
Grand Champion Steer
A.J. Line
AT&T and Monsanto



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