Auglaize County Junior Fair livestock sale beef prices
Grand Champion Beef Steer, Hannah Schaub, $9,000
Reserve Champion Beef Steer, Caitlin Schaub, $7,000
Grand Champion Dairy Steer, Courtney Piehl, 1,750
Reserve Champion Dairy Steer, Courtney Piehl, 1,500
WAPAKONETA — The Auglaize County Junior Fair annual livestock auction was held at the new Piehl Family Arena in August. The time and hard work the children put into raising and caring for their animals paid off as representatives from agriculture companies and local businesses bid to purchase FFA and 4-H projects.
“We’re here supporting the kids,” said buyer Tom Homan, representing Fennig-Homan Agribusiness. “They’re the future coming up.”
The buyers from agriculture businesses usually bid on animals owned by the children of people they do business with, Homan said. The business Homan represents sells crop insurance, so he bid on animals raised by children of people who have insurance through that company.
If buyers see a child’s animal isn’t getting a fair price, they’ll place a bid to raise the price, Homan said.
Fennig-Homan Agribusiness does business in Jay, Shelby, Logan, Auglaize, Mercer, Darke, Miami and Allen counties and it sends livestock buyers to the Junior Fair sales at each of those county fairs, Homan said.
“We do have a budget we follow,” said Dave Tebbe, buying for Sunrise Co-Op, an agriculture supply company.
Like Homan, he focuses on purchasing animals from the children and grandchildren of the company’s customers, he said.
“It’s a way of paying back customers and advertising,” Tebbe said. “It’s really about supporting the people who support you.”
The animals’ buyers win are taken to be slaughtered for meat, some are donated to the family they were purchased from so they can continue raising them and sometimes other people will purchase them from the company to take home and slaughter themselves, he said.
Taylor Lowe, 14, of Waynesfield, sold her Grand Champion Tom Turkey for $500 and her Grand Champion Hen Turkey for $300 during the sale. Lowe has shown poultry during the fair for six years, she said.
Raising a grand champion turkey takes time and care. The birds need to be cleaned and cared for on a regular basis, Lowe explained. She had to make certain the feed she gave the turkeys had enough protein, clean water is a must and warm bedding is required. If the bird gets sick or injured, it could damage the meat, she said.
“It mostly goes to college,” Lowe said of the $800 she made selling her grand champion birds.
Alexandra Neal, 10, of Cridersville, just finished her first year showing market rabbits in addition to show rabbits.
Showing both types is time consuming, said her mother, Jennifer Edwards. Neal has to brush them, feed and water them, empty their cages, clip their nails and more.
“She spends 15-20 hours working with them in a week,” Edwards said. “Sometimes more, sometimes less depending on what she has going on.”
The money she will make selling her two rabbits will go toward buying and raising market rabbits next year, Edwards said, adding the animals can go for anywhere between $100-300.
“You raise them, sell them to someone else to slaughter and start all over again,” Neal said.