SIDNEY — It was a family affair at Saturday’s Junior Fair livestock sale at the Shelby County Fair. Numerous grand and reserve champion animals were sold by siblings during the event, along with first-time winners in several of the shows.
Auctioneer Johnny Regula told the buyers the highlight of the sale is selling the grand champion steer. This year’s grand champion tile was won by Troy Zimpfer, son of Ted and Amy Zimpfer, of Anna.
“The highlight of any exposition is selling the grand champion,” said Regula. “And this is a heck of a steer. He could very easily have won a division at the Ohio State Fair,” said Regula. “But he chose to bring it here.”
The grand champion steer, shown by Troy Zimpfer is the third grand champion steer in the Zimpfer family. His siblings, Tyler and Amber, were also grand champion winners in previous fairs.
“It was easy to raise,” said Troy after the sale. The steer sold for $5,625.
Troy said he purchased the calf and thought it was a sound animal and looked good.
“I always wanted to win this show,” said Troy. “It’s the first time I’ve won it. By brother and sister both won it.”
Troy is planning on competing at the Ohio State Fair next year.
“Troy has been in 4-H for four or five years,” said his dad, Ted. “Since his older brother and sister have been showing at the Shelby County Fair, he’s been at the fair since he was 4 years old.
“I’m very happy for him. It’s always neat to be in the steer barn,” he said. “It’s a family that you get to see once a year.”
Ted is also pleased with how the older 4-H and FFA members help out the younger members.
“They want to help them to do better next year,” said Ted.
The reserve champion steer was shown by Hayden Huelskamp, son of Tonya and Chad Huelskamp, Anna, sold for $4,500. He is a member of Anna Livestock.
When Denton Homan’s grand champion dairy steer entered the arena, Regula said it was a “well fed steer and will be good for your freezer.”
Homan’s animal sold for $1,035.
Jessie Abke’s reserve champion dairy steer sold for $1,175. She is the daughter of Chris and Hope Abke and is a member of the Fairlawn FFA.
Jessica York’s reserve champion market heifer sold for $550. She is a member of Russia Livestock and is the daughter of Mike and Maria York.
Jeremy and Lynn Pleiman had a triple reason to be proud during Saturday’s sale. Son Jacob, 16, won the grand champion dairy feeder, while son Carter, 14, won the reserve champion dairy feeder. A third son, Colton, 12, showed the reserve champion turkey.
“This is a great feeling,” said Jeremy. “This is a family project and we’re not just looking to win. The boys spend time together in the barn working on their projects.
“They become closer as brothers when they work at their projects. They have a lot to learn — as kids and as family. We make a lot of friends at the fair.”
The Pleimans run a herd of 20 sheep and in previous fairs the boys all showed sheep. This was the first year Jacob and Carter showed cattle and the first time Colton showed a turkey.
“I was very surprised,” said Jacob of winning grand champion. “It was great to stand up there with my brother.”
The brothers said they play a lot of basketball and it takes a lot of time to prepare lambs for the shows. They decided to try their hand at something different this year.
“It was fun,” said Carter.”It was different because I had never faced Jacob in competition before. Usually we’re teammates.”
Jacob said any animal your show at the fair teaches you responsibility for the future.
“You’re held accountable for watering, feeding and working with the animals,” said Jacob. “You want them as comfortable as they can be.”
Colton said he has been raising his turkey since late February.
“It was very different,” he said.
Jacob’s animal sold for $1,780, while Carter’s sold for $1,690. Colton’s turkey sold for $550. All three boys are members of Botkins Livestock.
Siblings Denton and Norah Homan, children of Fred and Billie Homan, of Botkins, took home top honors in the market goat program. Denton’s goat was named grand champion, while Norah’s was reserve champion.
“This is a fast growing project,” said Regula. “In Columbus two weeks ago we had 110 breeds in the barn with 900 head there. It’s growing hotter than blazes.”
Denton Homan said it was pretty sweet winning with his sister. He has been showing goats for two years, while Norah has been showing for three years.
“Family friends with goats had talked Norah into showing them,” said Denton. “So she started showing and I helped her in the barn. I started liking the goats myself and decided to show them too.”
Both said the money from the sale will go into their savings account and toward next year’s project.
Denton’s goat sold for $1,875, while Norah’s goat sold for $1,535.
Re/Max One owner Gay Smith raised all the minimum bids for goats to $225 at the end of the goat sale.
First-time shower Maya Oduro, 9, daughter of Tracy and Charles Oduro, won the grand champion turkey competition. It sold for $475.
“We thought the turkey could stay at our house,” said Maya. “Instead it stayed at my grandparent’s’s house. I was very surprised when they said I won. I said’I think you’ve got the wrong person.’”
Maya is a member of Scissors to Sheep 4-H Club.
Gay Smith also raised the minimum bid for the turkey sale to $150.
Reilly Sommer, daughter of Andy and Lisa Sommer, was a two-time winner in the chicken show. She had the grand champion fryer and grand champion broiler in the two shows. The fryer was sold for $1,815, while the broiler pen sold for $1,565.
“This is the first time I’ve had two winners in the fair,” said Sommer, who is a member of the McCartyville Producers 4-H Club. “I have had grand champions before.”
Sommer said she had some“really good chickens” this year.
Ben York, son of Ben and Lisa York, was a first-time winner with the reserve grand champion fryer pen. His chickens sold for $775. He said he raises poultry because he “likes eating chicken.” He is a member of Russia Livestock.
Tyler King, son of Joe and Michelle King, is a member of the Anna FFA. used his communication skills to get a bid of $1,525 for his pen of chickens.
“I went around and asked for buyers,” said King, who admitted he was surprised at the amount his chickens sold for.
Brothers Preston and Brendon Serr, sons of Meghan and Garrett Serr, won the top two honors in the sheep program. Preston was grand champion while Brendon was reserve champion.
Preston’s lamb sold for $5,390, while Brendon’s lamb sold for $5,190.
Bailey Althauser’s champion duck sold for $680. Reserve champion Addison Brewer’s duck sold for $1,050.
Bailey, the daughter of Kristian and Heather Althauser, of Anna, is a member of Kettlersville Livestock.
“It felt really good,” said Bailey of winning the grand championship title. “All of my hard work paid off.”
She had been working with the duck since May 30. Since the family doesn’t live on a farm, the duck stayed at her grandma’s house.
“I think it’s pretty cute,” she said as the duck quacked in agreement.
As Saturday’s sale came to a close, a new record for set for the sale of the gallon of milk. With Dannon purchasing 47 shares (each costing $50), buyers raised $23,600 for the 4-H and FFA members who show dairy.
The Lloyd Lutz award was given to Elizabreth Pestke, a member of Perry Livestock. She is the daughter of Gregg and Melissa Pestke, of Sidney.
This was the final sale for Paul Monnier. His daughter, Jess, is no longer eligible to be in 4-H and sale committee members must have children in the 4-H program.
“I’d like to thank the staff,” said Monnier, who has been on the sale committee for 16 or 17 years.
The best part of the job has been the people he’s worked with, he said.
“I liked helping other people with non sale committee issues,” he said.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.