EATON — This year saw many changes at the Preble County Fair. From new buildings and upgrades, to old buildings being renamed — the fairgrounds wasn’t quite the same.
Another change came to the Sale of Champions.
Many aspects of the sale remained the same — Exhibitors were still able to show two animals in species where it is permissible; upon sale, hogs, steers, lambs, goats, rabbits and poultry were the property of the designated livestock company and exhibitors were responsible for their market stock until loaded for shipment following sale. Exhibitors had to get their animal to the sale ring at the designated time; the Preble County Junior Fair Market Sale was a terminal sale; and if the market animal (including feeder calves) wasn’t to be sold in the sale, the exhibitor had to notify the department committee 30 minutes after the conclusion of the market show.
But there was one significant change: buyers groups were eliminated for the 2018 sale year, including “friends of…” groups. The rule change stated, “Exhibitors with Champion and Reserve Champion animals will no longer be permitted to collect lists of buyers. Animals will go through the sale ring and be bid on by registered buyers in attendance in a true live auction.”
Buyers could still add on to an exhibitor’s animals and buyers in groups of up to three could purchase an animal during the live auction. During the sale it was further explained, the kids would only bring one animal per species out for bidding. Except steer and cattle — as changes were made too late to affect those sales, youth were allowed in some circumstances to bring two animals out in those categories. This was only for 2018, next year exhibitors will only be allowed to bring out one animal per species for all species.
There was to be no group bidding — the top bidder in the auction was the final purchaser, a group could not come later to purchase the animal. The sale because a true live auction, which allowed for as many as three buyers to purchase one animal and for those in attendance to add money onto any exhibitor.
Another change came when buyers were asked to pay in person, instead of after a bill was sent. It was explained, an invoice could be sent, but the sooner the amount was paid, the sooner the exhibitor got his or her money.
The animal purchased for the largest amount was the Junior Fair Board hog, which sold for $3,500. All proceeds from that auction went directly to the Junior Fair Board.
The second highest bid item was Wyatt Cox’s Champion Market Steer, which sold for $2,500. The Reserve Champion sold for $2,100. The Champion Market Lamb sold for $1,000, which Haley Davidson said was money she would use for future livestock projects.
“Raising the project is really easy. You basically just feed and water it. The sheep, you have to get them used to your hands. I’m gonna put the money towards next years project, towards a goat. I’ve done goats a little a few years ago, but I quit and stuck to lambs and did hogs this year. Hopefully [dad] will agree to getting a goat,” Davidson said.
“Over the time of raising the animal, you get attached to the lamb and then its really hard to sell it. It gets really sad, because you spend so much time with it.”
Wyatt House sold his Reserve Champion Market Lamb for $1,200. Carlyn George sold her Champion Market Broilers for $1,500. Cole George sold his Reserve Champion Market Broilers for $725. Katelyn Meeks sold her Champion Market Turkey for $1,200. Morgan Harrod sold her Reserve Champion Market Turkey for $625.
Crystal Dotson sold her Grand Champion Market Rabbits for $625. Brett Dotson sold his Reserve Champion Market Rabbits for $400. Kara Burton sold her Champion Market Goat for $1,100. For Burton, it was a bittersweet experience, being her last year of 4-H.
“I’m sad, because this is my last time doing this sale. It is really sad, because you grow a bond with the animal and then you have to sell it. I will miss the relationships you build with other people and working with my animals [next year],” Burton said.
Addie Anspaugh sold her Reserve Champion Market Goat for $1,050. Mackenzie Neal sold her Champion Market Hog for $1,500.
“We buy the animals at the beginning of the year and you have to work so many animals every single day. Then you come to the fair, hopefully hard work pays off, and then you sell the animal. It’s pretty emotional because you spend so much time with the animals and they’re basically some of your best friends,” Neal said.
“I’m going to put the money towards college and a car, maybe pay my mother back a bit for some of the expenses of this project. Doing this, you learn responsibility, time management, and honestly confidence. When you win, it boosts your confidence over everything.”
Brock Cole sold his second animal of the night — his market hog — for $1,050.
“It takes time and effort [to raise the projects]. It is sad to sell them because you build a bond with them, then you just load them up on the trailer. It is sad, but you get money. I’m gonna buy two more hogs and another steer,” Cole said.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH