WEST ALLIS — At his first Governor’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction Aug. 7, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers saw the future of agriculture in the state.
“This is all about the kids,” Evers said. “The future of agriculture is sitting up on this stage.”
It was a warm evening for the 2019 Governor’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction Aug. 7 at the Case IH Coliseum. Wisconsin State Fair representatives and supporters welcomed Evers and First Lady Kathy Evers to their first Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction; they were also accompanied by Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection secretary Brad Pfaff.
Wisconsin agriculture accounts for $88.3 billion in economic activity each year, but Pfaff acknowledged that Wednesday night wasn’t about economics — it was about the kids.
Evers commended the hard work of the many youth exhibitors that participated in this year’s State Fair, asking auction bidders to have fun and beat last year’s auction total of $316,800. This year’s grand total came in less than 2018’s total, with $255,850 raised, but it has still been deemed a success by auction organizers.
“Funds raised at the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction support the Blue Ribbon Sale of Champion Foundation’s mission to educate and support the Wisconsin State Fair youth livestock exhibitors,” said Bob Johnson, president of the Blue Ribbon Sale of Champion Foundation. “These youth are the future of the Wisconsin livestock industry and we were overwhelmed with the generosity of our auction supporters.”
Thirty animals, including champion steers, lambs and barrows, were up for auction, as well as four Wisconsin-themed sports packages.
The auction opened with the sale of the Grand Champion Steer, a 1,333-pound Maine-Anjou exhibited by Riley Runkel of Burlington, Racine County; her steer sold for $47,500 to Meijer. The Reserve Grand Champion Steer, a crossbred exhibited by Lauren May, Mineral Point, Iowa County, sold for $22,000 to Kenosha Beef/Birchwood Foods.
The Grand Champion Barrow, a crossbred exhibited by Logan Schmitz, Mineral Point, Iowa County, sold for a winning bid of $14,000 to Beer Capitol Distributing; the Reserve Grand Champion Barrow, a Chester White exhibited by Chase Cherney, LaValle, Sauk County, sold for $8,000 to Statewide Fencing and Interstate Parking.
The Grand Champion Market Lamb, a crossbred exhibited by Trenna Cherney, Wonewoc, Juneau County, received a winning bid of $7,500 by Great Lakes Coca-Cola; the Reserve Grand Champion Market Lamb, another crossbred exhibited by Jacee Johnson, Delavan, Walworth County, was sold for $8,000 to We Energies.
The following animals were also sold in the auction, listed by animal, exhibitor, hometown and county; sale price and buyer:
Champion Chianina Steer, John Henderson, East Troy, Racine County; $16,000, Andis Co.
Champion Yorkshire Barrow, Dalton Bennett, Durand, Ill., Pepin County; $8,000, Case IH.
Champion Hampshire Lamb, Kassandra Palzkill, Mineral Point, Lafayette County; $4,500, Giant Slide, Skyglider, Caribbean Smoothies, Siggy’s Wild Dog Saloon, II Dog Enterprises.
Champion Shorthorn Steer, Clair Duch, New London, Waupaca County; $7,500, Beechwood Sales and Service.
Champion Duroc Barrow, Michael Sleik, Oshkosh, Winnebago County; $8,000, Saz’s Hospitality Group.
Champion Shropshire Lamb, Halie Schwab, Platteville, Grant County; $4,250, Porktoberfeast: Leff’s Lucky Town, Bunzel’s Meat Market, Blue Moon Tavern at the Park, Trawicki Electric, Zimmerman Architectural Studios/Harwood Engineering, All City Motors, Bruce Westling (MLG), Steve and Nancy Sazama, Major Goolsbys.
Champion Any Other Breed Steer, Cade Austin, Milton, Rock County; $12,500, Interstate Parking and Statewide Fencing.
Champion Berkshire Barrow, Cate Cherney, LaValle, Sauk County; $5,000, Porktoberfeast: Leff’s Lucky Town, Bunzel’s Meat Market, Blue Moon Tavern at the Park, Trawicki Electric, Zimmerman Architectural Studios/Harwood Engineering, All City Motors, Bruce Westling (MLG), Steve and Nancy Sazama, Major Goolsbys.
Champion Suffolk Lamb, Kane Howlett, Evansville, Rock County; $3,000, MillerCoors.
Champion Hereford Steer, Taylor Schaefer, Franksville, Racine County; $7,000, Beechwood Sales and Service.
Champion Tamworth Barrow, Landon Rehberg, Elkhorn, Walworth County; $3,500, Saz’s Catalano’s, Grebe’s Bakery, Melotte Meats, Milwaukee Admirals.
Champion Natural Colored Lamb, Cate Cherney, LaValle, Sauk County, $2,500, Meijer.
Champion Angus Steer, Jacob Ellerbrock, Burlington, Kenosha County; $22,500, Wisconsin Souvenir Milkcaps, Halbman Company, Meier Grocery, Witel LLC, Bob May Show Cattle, Mindermann Farms, Bloomington Livestock, Fernvale Angus, Weigel’s Steer Pit, WS Ag, Country Lane Farms, Thornberry Angus, 2K Cattle Company, Gaffney Family Cattle, Hill Valley Farms, Henning Farms, KCJ Angus, Premier Angus, Bacon Branch Beef, Bob Lannin.
Champion Spotted Barrow, Kyle Vondra, Mineral Point, Iowa County; $4,000, Wisconsin Pork Producers, Taylor Show Pigs.
Champion Oxford Lamb, Brooke Ace, Oregon, Dane County; $2,000, Middleton Ford.
Champion Simmental Steer, Kyle Lois, Burlington, Kenosha County; $3,500, Wisconsin Souvenir Milk Caps.
Champion Poland China Barrow, Cate Cherney, LaValle, Sauk County; $2,000, Taylor Show Pigs.
Champion Dorset Lamb, Brannt Balfanz, Waterford, Racine County; $1,000, Meijer.
Champion Registered Dairy Steer, Bradin Bjelland, Gillett, Oconto County; $12,500, American Foods Group.
Champion Hampshire Barrow, Isabelle Doherty, Johnson Creek, Jefferson County; $2,000, Klitzman Seed.
Champion Southdown Lamb, Vanessa Roberts, Whitelaw, Manitowoc County; $1,300, Kewaskum Foods.
Champion Landrace Barrow, Landon Rehberg, Elkhorn, Walworth County, $1,250, Middleton Ford.
Champion Any Other Breed Lamb, MacKenna Slater, Evansville, Rock County; $5,000, MillerCoors and Porktoberfeast: Leff’s Lucky Town, Bunzel’s Meat Market, Blue Moon Tavern at the Park, Trawicki Electric, Zimmerman Architectural Studios/Harwood Engineering, All City Motors, Bruce Westling (MLG), Steve and Nancy Sazama, Major Goolsbys.
Champion Hereford Barrow, Zoey Heimmermann, Hortonville, Outagamie County; $5,000, Meijer.
While youth exhibitors receive a majority of the proceeds from their animals, a portion is also set aside for scholarships and grants for youth livestock programs, including the Wisconsin Livestock Show Camp, Wisconsin State Fair premier exhibitor awards, Wisconsin State Fair reserve market animal awards and the Wisconsin State Fair Camp of Champions. Over two dozen youth were awarded $30,500 in scholarships from the Blue Ribbon Sale of Champions Foundation at this year’s auction.
Scott Gunderson, who is retiring from the Blue Ribbon Sale of Champions Foundation Board of Directors this year after over 20 years of service to the foundation and its livestock auction committee, was honored as this year’s Friend of the Livestock Auction. Blue Ribbon Sale of Champions Foundation representative Mary Beth Carr was also recognized for her dedication to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction.