WARSAW — The annual 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions is a special time of 4-H’ers as efforts are rewarded through the sale of their 4-H animals. This year was no different as the community rose to the occasion and supported local 4-H’ers.
While the highlight of the auction is the annual sale of champions, this year’s sale included the recognition of an individual who has been involved with the auction since Aug. 7, 1975. The 15th annual Sale of Champions was Dennis Polk’s last “official auction.”
Polk started as a ring man wearing his infamous “white shirt.” There were 350 animals sold that year. In 1980 Polk shared the auctioneering duties with two others and stunned the crowd by wearing a plaid western shirt. In 1990 the white shirt returned and has remained a tradition for the auction. He has also brought the auction to record sales for the 4-H’ers. Pole has volunteered in 4-H in other ways as well: 4-H Council President, 4-H Beef Committee, 4-H parent and grandparent and 4-H livestock buyer.
He was presented with a lifetime pass to the county fair by Tony Zimmerman, fair board member, and members of the auction committee presented Polk with a sign commemorating his 42 years of service. “I had the easy job,” Polk said recognizing those behind the scene for the last 42 years who had the difficult job. He noted the various auctioneers and ring help through the years. “These have all been good people who come together for the kids.”
Polk stated he was humbled by the recognition and felt honored. But, “without the hard work of all of you,” the auctions would not have been successful. “It’s been an honor to be with you guys.”
Sale of Champions
The 15th annual Sale of Champions saw 14 animals auctioned along with kisses from the 4-H Queen and 4-H King.
Results during the Sale of champions are:
The grand champion broilers, shown by Leina Helfers, Leesburg, brought $1,330.
Asher Meyer, Etna Green, sold his grand champion market duck for $1,250.
The grand champion turkey, sold by Shayleen Crites, Leesburg, brought $1,200.
The grand champion beef steer, sold by Collin Deatsman, Leesburg, brought $15,000.
Riley Shepherd, Leesburg, sold the reserve grand champion beef steer for $10,600.
This year’s grand champion dairy steer, shown by Hunter Magiera, Syracuse, was sold for $6,000.
Makenna Sausaman, Syracuse, sold her reserve grand champion dairy steer for $3,200.
The grand champion rabbit meat pen, sold by Katie Schmidt, Warsaw, brought $1,800.
Kaleb Kline, Claypool, sold his reserve grand champion rabbit meat pen for $2,250.
Ashton Stookey, Leesburg, sold the grand champion barrow for $2,450.
The reserve grand champion barrow, sold by Nash Bouse, Mentone, sold for $5,925.
Jackson Templin, Leesburg, sold his grand champion specialty market goat for $9,285.
The grand champion dairy market goat, sold by Ethan Moore, Warsaw, was sold for $1,550.
The reserve grand champion market lamb was sold by Jared Beer, Milford, brought $2,200.
A highlight of the evening is the bidding for a kiss from the fair queen and king.
This year’s queen kiss from Lacey Helfers was purchased for $1,600 and was given to two young men — Deegan and Derrick Engleberth, friends of the Helfers family. The proceeds from the sale of the kiss will go to the 4-H Junior Leaders Memorial Garden and royalty committee.
There was a little fun with the purchase of the kiss from this year’s king, Hunter Magiera, which was bought for $2,150. Thinking he would get to choose who he kissed, he was informed that was not the way it went. The suspense rose as the buyer, Kelly Heckaman, asked his grandmother, who said it should be his mom. His mom said it should be his sister, and his sister said it should be his girl friend. But she stated she didn’t have to pay for kiss from him. So who was the winner? Lucy Andrews, the fair’s junior miss first runner-up. His grandmother, Marie Tom, was also given the honor. Proceeds from the sale of the kiss will go towards the 4-H Dairy Barn.
The 4-H livestock auction, earlier in the day, saw 465 lots auctioned. The total results of the 2017 livestock auction are still being tabulated. There were 128 poultry, 24 beef, eight dairy steers, 34 dairy calf feeder steers, 20 rabbits, 52 dairy items, 113 swine lots, 30 specialty goats, 11 dairy goats, 24 goat products, and 21 sheep lots.