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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2007

Governor's Sale of Champions Sets New Record With Steer Sale
One of Two Records Broken

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The 2007 Illinois State Fair Governor’s Sale of Champions was a success yet again, with a record purse collected for the Grand Champion Steer. “Yahtzee,” a 1,344-pound crossbred steer owned by Nicholas Day of Lovington, Ill., sold for $45,000. The sale price eclipsed the record $41,000 purchase price of the champion in 2006. The buyers were DeKalb Asgro Corporation, Simmons and Cooper Law offices, Battery Specialists and the State Bank of Monticello.

Day, 15, said that showing animals is a family affair, but that no show had yet been quite as profitable for his family.

 “It’s a family affair, but this is our biggest win,” he said.

 Day said he plans to use his portion of the winnings – 10 percent of the sale price goes to 4-H, and another 10 percent goes to FFA – to help pay for college. He said he plans to attend the University of Illinois to become a veterinarian.

 Orion Samuelson, Agribusiness Director of WGN Radio and 45-year veteran emcee of the event, said that the Sale of Champions is vital to the progress of agriculture in Illinois, and is a very important stepping stone for the young exhibitors.

 “It’s the Super Bowl for these kids,” Samuelson said. “They’ve been working since they started these as projects a year ago, and this is the final.”

 First Lady Patti Blagojevich assisted state Agricultural Director Chuck Hartke in encouraging bidders to support the state’s young livestock producers. One of the beneficiaries was 11-year-old Jazzmyn Whittier of Bloomington. Whittier sold her champion New Zealand White rabbits for $3000 to Brandt Consolidated, Sky-Fair, and appropriately, Friends of Bugs Bunny. She said she was taken aback by the amount her rabbits earned her.

 “I was surprised that it got nearly that high,” Whittier said. She added that the whole experience was an exciting one for her.

 She also added that she plans to save some of the money for culinary school, while using the rest on rabbit supplies. Plan on seeing her back in the future, as Whittier said she has more rabbits at home she plans on showing. However, the rabbits will only be New Zealand Whites, with good reason.

 “They’re my grandpa’s favorite kind,” Whittier said.

Below is a list of exhibitors and purchasers for the 2007 Governor’s Sale of Champions and Commodities Auction:

Land of Lincoln Dairy Cattle Print: $2500
Exhibitor: Kristen Jordan  
Purchaser: Prairie Farms

Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Wether: $4550
Exhibitor: Sarah DeSchepper 
Purchaser: Crop Production Services, Rural King, Friends of DeScheppers

Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Barrow: $3000
Exhibitor: Bryce Walters 
Purchaser: Illinois Green Industry Association, 17th Street Barbecue

Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Steer: $26,600
Exhibitor: Danny Zehr 
Purchaser: Land of Lincoln Breeders, Supporters of the Land of Lincoln Program

Grand Champion Poultry Pen Trio: $3900
Exhibitor: Angela Boesche 
Purchaser: Brandt Consolidated

Grand Champion Rabbit Meat Pen: $3000
Exhibitor: Jazzmyn Whittier 
Purchaser: Brandt Consolidated, Sky Fair, Friends of Bugs Bunny

Grand Champion Meat Goat Wether: $5600 (new record – previously $2000 in 2006)
Exhibitor: Ryan Sanders 
Purchaser: Jason Elvidge and Dr. Margaret MacGregor, Committee to Break the Billy Goat Curse at Wrigley Field

Grand Champion Wether: $7000
Exhibitor: Lynsie Bane 
Purchaser: North American Midway Entertainment, Horizon Farms, Friends of Banes

Grand Champion Barrow: $14,000
Exhibitor: Miles Toenyes 
Purchaser: McDonalds Corporation

Grand Champion Steer: $45,000 (new record – previous $41,000 in 2006)
Exhibitor: Nicholas Day 
Purchaser: DeKalb Asgro Corporation, Simmons-Cooper Law Offices, Battery Specialists, State Bank of Monticello

Best of Show Illinois Wine: $1200
Exhibitor: Galena Cellars, Christine Lawlor-White 
Purchaser: Audio-Techni Services (In Memory of Bernie Beard)

Grand Champion Honey: $225
Exhibitor: Jim Belli 
Purchaser: Don and Karen Schrader (donated back to Illinois Beekeepers Association)

Grand Champion Ham: $1300
Exhibitor: Weber Meats
Purchaser: George Obernagel

Grand Champion Processed Beef: $750
Exhibitor: Eickman’s Processing Co. 
Purchaser: Filer Auction and Appraisals, Inc.

Grand Champion Summer Sausage: $700
Exhibitor: Weber Meats 
Purchaser: Elaine and Fred Nessler

Grand Champion Bacon: $900
Exhibitor: Miller’s Meat Market 
Purchaser: Illinois State Auction Association, Farm Credit Services

Grand Champion Swiss Cheese: $350
Exhibitor: Fair Oaks Dairy Products 
Purchaser: Corporate Training Center

Grand Champion Cheddar Cheese: $825
Exhibitor: Kraft Foods 
Purchaser: Cory Craig, William Beck Auction and Realty

Grand Champion Calico Cheese: $825
Exhibitor: Avanti Food Co. 
Purchaser: ISAA, FCS

Grand Champion Blue Cheese: $625
Exhibitor: Swiss Valley Farms
Purchaser: Fout Construction, Wayne K. Hanner, Judge John McCullogh

Grand Champion Doe of Show Goat’s Milk: $325
Exhibitor: Evan Jodlowski
Purchaser: McDonalds, Taylorville

Illinois Recognizes Excellence in Agriculture

Farm families, businesses recognized at Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair

In recognition of Agriculture Day, a number of families, farmers, teachers, and businesses received Ag Day Awards for their excellence in one of the many agricultural fields. They are as follows:

Outstanding Farm Family – Illinois Pork Producers: Roy and Fran Weitekamp, Raymond

Outstanding Farm Family – Illinois Beef Association: Indian Knoll Cattle Farm, Mechanicsburg

Illinois Conservation Climate Initiative sponsored by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency: Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Springfield

Governor’s Conservation Farm Family sponsored by Association of Soil and Water
Conservation Districts – Dehlinger Farms, Olney

Outstanding Farm Family – Illinois Farmers Union: Ron and Elsie Voelker, Mason

Outstanding Farm Family – Illinois Farm Bureau: Lynden and Tina Endress, Pearl City

Outstanding Farm Family – Illinois State Grange: Melvin and Dorothy Wagner, Marissa

Outstanding Farm Family – Illinois National Farmers Organization: Larry and Jane Probst, Dietrich,

Illinois Milk Producers’ Association Environmental Stewardship Award: Steve Schwoerer Family

2007 Outstanding Sheep Producer sponsored by Illinois Lamb & Wool Producers: Richard Woodcock and Family, Waterloo

Outstanding Agritourism Business Award sponsored by Agriculture & Tourism Partners of Illinois: Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch, Champaign

Outstanding Ag Lender sponsored by Illinois Finance Authority: Dana Wiegand, Goodfield State Bank, Goodfield

Service to Agriculture – Farm Credit Services Award: Mike Adams, St. Louis, MO

R.J. Vollmer Sustainable Agriculture Farm sponsored by IL Department of Agriculture: Don and Enid Shepherd, Kirkland

IL Tree Farm of the Year sponsored by IL Tree Farm Committee: Bob and Pacie Trimble, Monticello

 IL Grape Growers and Vintners Association – Best of Show: Galena Cellars Winery & Vineyard, Galena

 IL Grape Growers and Vintners Association – Governor’s White: Willow Ridge Vineyards and Winery, Shelbyville

 IL Grape Growers and Vintners Association – Governor’s Red: Prairie State Winery, Genoa

 IL Grape Growers and Vintners Association – Governor’s Fruit: Pheasant Hollow Winery, Whittington

IL Grape Growers and Vintners Association – Governor’s Dessert/Sparkling: White Owl Winery, Birds

IL Grape Growers and Vintners Association – Governor’s Rose/Blush Cup: Von Jakob Vineyards, Pomona

Agricultural Education Excellence Award sponsored by IL Leadership Council for Agricultural Education – for Legislation: Senator John Sullivan, Quincy

Agricultural Education Excellence Award – for Agribusiness: Jill Carey-Hargrave, Kingston

Agricultural Education Excellence Award – for Education: Ronald L. Reische, Springfield

Agricultural Education Excellence Award – for Media Relations: RFD Radio, Bloomington

Perry Schneider Award of Special Recognition sponsored by Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education: Mike Massie, Galva

IL 4-H Family Spirit Award sponsored by Illinois 4-H Foundation: Bauer-Hileman Families, Union County

50 Years of Volunteer Service to the Illinois 4-H Youth sponsored by Illinois State 4-H, University of Illinois Extension:

- Harold Behling, Caledonia
- Robert Hopkins, Stillman Valley
- Eleanor J. Markwell, Casey
- Lavanda Joergens, Dieterich
- Orrin Vandeburg, Sycamore

Excellence in Teaching Award-District 1: Joe House, Princeville High School, Princeville

Excellence in Teaching Award-District 2: Parker Bane, Pontiac High School, Pontiac

Excellence in Teaching Award-District 3: Bruce Eidson, Southeastern High School, Augusta

Excellence in Teaching Award-District 4: Sue Schafer, Taylorville High School, Taylorville

Excellence in Teaching Award-District 5: Julie Bond-Ledford, Nashville, Nashville



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