SIDNEY — Bids were being made in a frenzy Friday morning as lambs, ducks, chickens, cattle, goats and turkeys were sold during the Junior Fair livestock sale at the 2021 Shelby County Fair.
The grand champion beef steer was sold by Hayden Huelskamp, 16, of Anna, son of Chad and Tonya Huelskamp, a member of Anna Livestock. Since he began showing at age 9, this is the second time he has taken grand champion. Previously he took reserve champion.
“I put in a lot of work over these last months and the hard work paid off,” Huelskamp said. “We had (the steer) since October, but starting in May, would get up at 5 a.m., rinse him and get him in the cooling room. Then after school was out, I would get up at 4 a.m. and rinse him and get him in the cooling room. It’s an air conditioned room, set to around 50 degrees, that keeps him cool and comfortable and lets him grow hair. And we would feed him three times a day.”
The reserve champion steer was sold by Abigail Barhorst, of Botkins, daughter of BJ and Lauren Barhorst, and is a member of Anna Livestock.
Zach Ambos, 17, of Anna, son of Mike and Jennifer Ambos, member of Anna Livestock, took dairy beef feeder grand champion. He also showed and sold a second dairy beef feeder Friday morning. He did not sell his grand champion, but took it home instead. Ambos admitted to being a little sad fair was almost over since he only has one more Junior Fair left. He has been showing since he was 7 at the open show with his sister and since age 9 in the Junior Fair.
“It was difficult, but my family helped me,” Ambos said when asked how he groomed two cows for the fair. “I haven’t taken grand champion before, so I was kinda surprised. I didn’t think I was going to win.”
Bailey Gehret, of Fort Loramie, child of Matthew Gehret, who is a member of Fort Loramie Livestock, sold the reserve champion dairy beef feeder.
Hanna Heitkamp, 18, of Russia, daughter of Tom and Renee Heitkamp, member of Russia Livestock, sold the reserve grand champion dairy steer. This is her last year at the Shelby County Fair with her 4-H group.
“I’m a little sad, but I know I can come back and help next year (with her siblings),” Heitkamp said, who has been showing goats, rabbits, feeder calves and steers since she was 10. “But, I’m ready to go to college (at Wright State).”
The beginner skill-a-thon dairy beer feeder winner was sold by Lydia Gehret, of Fort Loramie, daughter of Jerry and Meghan Gehret, and is a member of Fort Loramie Livestock.
Jack Rethman, 9, of Fort Loramie, son of Greg and Katie Rethman, a member of Fort Loramie Livestock, showed for the first time this year. He took home fourth-in-class for his dairy beef feeder and also won a showmanship ribbon.
Jack quietly said he was “kind of nervous” but that it was fun too.
“We live by our family farm. I had to feed, walk and bed the stables every day,” Jack said when asked what he did to prepare his cow named Bolt.
The grand champion market goat was sold by Leigha Larger, 11, of Piqua, daughter of Ted Larger and Samantha Hoelscher, member of Scissors to Sheep 4-H club. This was Leigha’s first year wining grand champion. She has been showing for the past three years. This year she brought sheep, cattle, a horse and a goat to the fair and won numerous ribbons and awards other than grand champion.
“I was really excited,” Leigha said with a big smile, who said she previously took reserve grand champion with a breeding heifer. “The judge was talking about a market goat and I was bracing my goat, and then he came over and shook my hand and I was really excited.”
The reserve grand champion market goat was sold by Willow Canan, of Anna, daughter of Carmen and Jon Canan, who is a member of Anna Livestock.
The intermediate skill-a-thon goat winner was sold by Landon Sanders, of Jackson Center, son of Ryan and Cori Sanders, a member of Progressive Livestock.
The grand champion meat turkey was sold by Carson Shoffner, 13, of Anna, son of Kevin and Jennifer Shoffner, a member of Anna Livestock. This is the first time he won grand champion with a turkey; previously he took grand champion with a chicken. This is his first time showing a turkey.
“Sometimes I get nervous if a lot of people are out there, but not today,” Carson said, who has been showing chickens and sheep for the past three years. “I was excited. I’m glad the fair is back to normal this year because we are going to Columbus to show for five days too.”
The reserve champion meat turkey was sold by Mallory Havenar, of Sidney, daughter of Amy and Britt Havenar, who a member of Anna Livestock.
The senior turkey skill-a-thon winner was sold by Ellie Pistone, of Sidney, daughter of Kimberly and Ken Pistone, who is a member Houston Livestock.
The grand and reserve grand champion market lamb was sold by Denton Homan, 19, of Botkins, son of Fred and Billie Homan, a member of Botkins Livestock.
“This is the first time winning both (grand and reserve champion). All of the hard work at home finally paid off. This was my final goal with my senior year to take home both,” Homan said. “I was surprised. I knew my sheep were good but it still caught me by surprise. It is a family project and I give my little sisters a lot of credit for their help.”
Homan said this year’s fair is bittersweet since it is his last, but he looks forward to going away to college at Blackhawk East in Illinois.
The senior market lamb skill-a-thon winner was sold by Lauren Thornhill, of Anna, daughter of Carin and Ron Thornhill, who is a member Anna FFA.
The beginner market lamb skill-a-thon winner was sold by Issac Maxson, of Conover, son of Michael and Elizabeth Maxson, who is a member Perry Livestock.
The grand champion meat duck was sold by Addison Brewer, 19, of New Bremen, daughter of Ryan and Nykole Brewer, a member of Paw Prints 4-H club. This is the first time Brewer won grand champion and is also the last year she will show at the fair.
“I am kind of relieved and sad,” Brewer said about the fair winding down. She also showed dogs at the fair. Brewer plans to go to The Ohio State University at Lima to study physiology in the fall.
The reserve champion duck was sold by Bethany Althauser, 17, of Anna, the daughter of Kristian and Heather Althauser, who is a member of Kettlerville Livestock. She said she has always brought ducks to the fair and between she and her sisters, they have won six titles over the last nine years.
“I wasn’t super nervous. I was excited to go out the way we started,” Althauser said of winning reserve champion at her first and last fair. “I’m a little sad this will be my last year because I will be out of town next year during the fair.”
The grand champion pen of fryers chicken was sold by Reilly Sommer, 18, of Anna, daughter of Andy and Lisa Sommer, who is a member Anna FFA.
“I have won (grand champion) before, but this is still exciting,” Sommer said. “Was defintely happy.”
This is Sommer’s last year to show at the Shelby County Fair. She plans to attend Bowling Green in the fall to study early childhood education.
The reserve champion pen of fryers chicken was sold by Leanne York, of Russia, daughter of Ben and Lisa York, who is a member of Russia Livestock.
The champion broiler pen chicken was sold by Tyler King, of Anna, son of Joe and Michelle King, a member of Kettlerville Livestock.
The grand champion single fryer chicken was sold by Ben York, of Russia, son of Ben and Lisa York, who is a member of Russia Livestock.
The reserve champion single fryer chicken was sold by Porter Depinet, of Sidney, son of Desiree and Joel Depinet, who is a member of Shelby County Livestock.
Reilly Sommer also sold the grand champion single broiler chicken.
Seth Walls, of Sidney, son of Jenifer and Shane Walls, sold the grand champion single broiler chicken. He is a member of the McCartyville Producers.
Jay Bensman, of Sidney, son of Brenda and Dale Bensman, sold the winner of the intermediate chicken skill-a-thon. He is a member of the McCartyville Producers.
Vivian Hoehne, of Russia, son of Maria and Jeff Hoehne, sold the winner of the beginner chicken skill-a-thon. She is a member of the Russia Fashonettes.
Livestock show buyer Tom Marin, owner of Sidney Body CARSTAR, said the sale was awesome Friday morning. He also supported the bake show on Sunday and said he plans to return for Saturday’s livestock show.
“I must like to support the kids and take care of the people who take care of us,” Martin said. “It has been a fun day out here, and my wife is staying at the sale, although I have to head to Troy now.”
Retired Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart said he was at the sale representing Plastipak, the Inn Between Tavern, the Jackson Center Area Growth Association and the Jackson Center Educational Foundation to support the Junior Fair kids.
“It’s really neat to help with the kids with their future plans and college, and to give back,” Lenhart said. “We’ve been doing this to help kids with Plastipak for 25 years and it’s my honor to do that.”
Due to a new software system being used by the Junior Fair for the livestock sale, the complete list of buyers for the champion animals will be printed in next week’s paper.More Junior Fair livestock sale results will be printed in Tuesday’s paper.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.