COLUMBUS — Ten — yes 10 — new records were set Sunday during the Ohio State Fair’s Sale of Champions. And two of them belong to local youth representing their 4-H clubs.
Tears flowed as Ryleigh Egbert, of Botkins, watched her Grand Champion Market Beef sell for $225,000. The steer was purchased by S&S Volvo, of Lima. The previous record was $140,000. She received $22,000 for showing the grand champion, which willl be put into savings for her college education. The remainder of the money goes to the Ohio State Fair’s Youth Reserve Program.
Egbert, the daughter of Justin and Bruce Egbert, is a member of the Freyburg Happy Farmers in Auglaize County. Her journey to the top spot of the Ohio State Fair began in October with a trip to South Dakota where “Cruiser” the calf was found.
“My dad and Kyle Schmerge, along with Wade Rogers decided this was the calf that we wanted to have,” said Egbert. “We liked his natural structure and his uniqueness.”
Egbert, who was accompanied in the sale ring Sunday by her mom, was shocked when the bidding began and increased to $225,000.
“I felt shocked and amazement at the same time. I was trying to process it all,” she said. “It was hard and amazing at the same time.”
Her mom said she had mixed emotions during the sale.
“It was very surreal. It was exciting to take in everything that was going on,” said Justine Egbert. “The kids work so hard all year.”
“Cruiser” was her first grand champion at the state fair. Her sister, Brooke, has shown two champions and one reserve champion at the fair.
“All the hard work you put into it pays off,” said Ryleigh of her championship. “But you never know what will happen because it comes down to one judge’s opinion. I decided to give it 110%; I gave it my all and said whatever happens, happens.”
The name of the calf was a family decision, she said.
“We sat around the barn talking about names,” she said. We thought Cruiser kind of fit in because of all the miles e put in to get the calf.”
Ryleigh said it was very sad to say goodbye to Cruiser.
“They truly do become your best friend,” said Ryleigh. “The bond between them is extremely close. Watching him leave was extremely hard.”
The show was dedicated to her grandpa, Calvin Binkley, who passed away this year.
“He was always supportive of me. I was doing this for him so it was very special.”
And Grandpa Binkley let the family know how special the day was to him also. As they walked for the sale back to the barn, a rainbow appeared in the sky — a sign from grandpa that he was smiling down on his granddaughter.
“I’d like to thank everyone who helped me throughout the winter, especially Kaylene and Wade Rogers,” she said.
Elizabeth Shatto, of Fort Loramie, also sold her Grand Champion Market Lamb for a record $47,000 to The Kroger Company, Tim and Glenda Huffman, Event Marketing Strategies, Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association and Talley Amusements.
“It was unbelievable,” said Shatto of Sunday’s experience. “I was shocked. I was surprised I got the grand champion. It (new record) was mind blowing. I will forever be grateful for that.”
Shatto, the daughter of Heather and Jason Shatto, knew she had a special lamb before the show began. MJ, who was named by her parents after the people they bought him from — Maggie and Jordan.
“The first time we say him, we knew he was special,” said Shatto. “I knew he was the one I wanted. He had a personality to him. He walked like he was something special. His personality was always so sweet.”
Shatto will be a freshman this fall at Morehead State in Kentucky. Though she has one year of eligibility left to show animals, she’s not sure what will happen next year.
“I had a great year this year,” she said. “It will all depend on college and whether I get any internships.”
Shatto stopped showing at the Shelby County Fair in 2018 and focused her attention on the state fair.
“My ultimate goal was to win at the state fair,” she said. “Both the Shelby County Fair and the state fair was the same week and we’d be rushing back to compete here. So we decided to just show at the state fair.”
If she doesn’t compete next year, she finished her 4-H career as a grand champion. And what better way to end it than as a champion. She is a member of the Fort Loramie Livestock 4-H Club.
This was the ninth year she has shown animals at the state fair.
“This is the best I’ve ever done,” said Shatto. “I’ve had third overall the past two years.”
Shatto received $10,000 for selling the grand champion lamb. The remainder of the money goes to the Ohio State Fair’s Youth Reserve Program.
Records were set for:
• Reserve Grand Champion Market Beef, shown by Delaney Jones of Allen County, sold for $100,000 and was purchased by Steve R. Rauch and Mark and Megan Kvamme and family.
• Reserve Grand Champion Market Barrow, shown by Mallory Petro of Gallia County, sold for $52,500 to Mark and Megan Kvamme and family.
• Grand Champion Market Barrow, shown by Nick Adams of Mercer County, sold for $66,000 to
Bob Evans Farms, Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation and Kroger.
• Reserve Grand Champion Market Lamb, shown by Caleb Stone of Miami County, sold for $30,000 to Meijer.
• Reserve Grand Champion Pen of Market Chickens, shown by Caleb Bennett of Fayette County, sold for $24,000 to Steve R. Rauch Inc.
• Grand Champion Pen of Market Chickens, shown by Delaney Johnson of Jefferson County, sold for $31,000 to Kroger and Gerber Poultry.
• Grand Champion Market Turkey, shown by Madison Estep of Madison County, sold for $25,000 to OKI, Concessions by Cox, SP Plus Corporation, Schmidt’s Sausage Haus and Expo Services.
Grand Champion Market Goat, shown by Braxton Method of Auglaize County, sold for $26,000 to Mark and Megan Kvamme and family.
Grand Champion Swiss Cheese — representing the seven dairy champions – sold for $50,000 to AG Boogher and Son Inc., S&S Volvo and Turner Grain. Representing the seven champions and supreme dairy showmen were Grand Champion Ayrshire, Logan Topp, Auglaize County; Grand Champion Brown Swiss, Madelynn Topp, Shelby County; Grand Champion Guernsey, Aubree Topp, Shelby County; Grand Champion Holstein, Hannah Griffith, Brown County; Grand Champion Jersey, Blake Greiwe, Shelby County; Grand Champion Red and White, Allison Francis, Darke County; Grand Champion Milking Shorthorn, Christina Headings, Union County; Supreme Showman, Week 1 – exhibited by Olivia Finke, Madison County; and Supreme Showman, Week 2 – exhibited by: Madelyn Topp, Shelby County.