Top steer fetches nearly #036;5,000; hog nets #036;1,548

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2007

ROME TOWNSHIP - The auctioneer started his chant and the bidding began at the Lawrence County Junior Fair on Saturday with more than 200 buyers at the sale.

Business people and individuals gathered to bid on market hogs, steer, lambs and goats, sometimes bidding in groups.

The hogs “hogged” the show with 127 in the sale. There were 132 steers, 19 lambs and 108 goats.

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Both the grand champion and reserve champion hogs were sold for $6 a pound. Johnathan Dickess, 19, of Kitts Hill, had the grand champion weighing in at 258 pounds. He had been showing for seven years and this was the first time he had a grand champion.

“I’m glad I did that good,” he said. “It was my last year. I’m going out on top.”

Brandon Bowling of Kitts Hill, had the reserve champion hog for the first time.

Pick ’N Save Foods, of Ironton, has been buying animals for their store for the past ten years. They purchased six hogs Saturday that will be ready for sale in about a week.

“We’ll actually run a 4-H sale and everybody supports the fair and comes in and buys it,” said Ruby Freeman, of Pick ’N Save Foods. “Every year we buy.”

She has watched the 4-H children grow up over the years.

“One little girl — we remember buying her lamb when she was little and now she has a pig,” Freeman said.

Although most of what the auctioneer says is inaudible, except for the money, during the bidding on the grand champion steer, he said, “This is the last time you’re going to get to bid on this boy’s calf,” referring to Tyler Dickess, 19, of Kitts Hill, who is in his last year of 4-H.

His 1,249-pound market steer sold for $4 a pound, earning Dickess nearly $5,000.

“I’m happy,” he said. “I’ll put it in the bank and save it. I’m happy with what I got.”

Nathan Coalgrove, 18, of Wilgus, also the 2007 Showman of Showmen, had the reserve champion steer selling at $3 a pound. He plans to use his money for college.

“I’m going to Rio Grande, this will be my second year,” Coalgrove said.

Brent Dickess, of Sunoco Chemical, and Rich Donohue, of Rax Roast Beef, purchased the grand champion steer. They had not decided what to do with the beef yet.

“Rich may run it through the store or we may send it for resale,” Dickess said. “Sunoco has been doing this for about four years. We’ve got a lot of faithful buyers who come every year and help the kids out. This is all about the kids.”

In the past, they have donated the beef to non-profit organizations.

“We’ve talked about maybe putting it on the marquee and selling the hamburger out of it,” Donohue said. “I’ve bought the grand champion three times and the reserve once.”

Brittany Norris, of Kitts Hill, had the grand champion market lamb.

This was her first grand champion in the seven years she has been participating in the show. Norris said the money would help her buy a car. Her 124-pound lamb brought $12 a pound.

“I feel kind of sad but it was a lot of hard work,” Norris said.

The reserve market lamb, owned by Kayla Saunders 18, of Scottown, is going to use the money for college. She plans to go to Ohio University Southern in the fall.

This was the first time in ten years she has had a champion.

Bethanie Huff, of Kitts Hill, had the grand champion market goat that sold for $12.50 a pound. She attends Rio Grand University and needs also to get a car.

“I drive back and forth to Rio Grand every day, so, it’s really hard on gas,” Huff said.

Brenna Morris has only been showing for two years and had two goats in the show, one that was reserve champion. Her champion goat sold for $10.85 a pound.

Although the turnout was not as large as expected, buyers supported the efforts of the 4-H students.

“We didn’t have a big crowd but we had good buyers,” said Laura Jane Murphy, 4-H extension agent.