Sale of Champions Shatters Five Records


Published on August 15 2012 8:38 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Millie Lange

SPRINGFIELD -- "We're proud of their support," Acting Director of Agriculture Bob Flider said after Tuesday's Sale of Champions at the Illinois State Fair. "We're grateful to the buyers, especially during this difficult time for agriculture."

Those buyers opened their wallets and paid record-breaking prices for five animals in the annual auction of prize-winning state fair junior livestock. With encouragement from Flider, Governor Pat Quinn and State Fair manager Amy Bliefnick, $159,210 was raised for the youngsters who exhibited the animals as well as the state's 4-H and FFA youth educatin programs.

All of the champions were overwhelmed with the support, especially 12-year-old Chelsea Wycoff. Wycoff, of Piper City, was recently diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder and pledged to donate half of the money she earned to Easter Seals.

This announcemnet led not only to spirited bidding for Wycoff's rabbit meat pen, but also generated more than $6,500 in cash donations to Easter Seals from the crowd when a large bucket was passed. Wycoff's rabbits sold for $6,200 and then were donated and sold again for another $3,400 with the total resale amount going to Easter Seals.

"It was a lot more than I expected!" Wycoff exclaimed. "I'm glad I got as much as I did."

The exhibitor of the grand champion wether, Caleb Whitcomb, 18, also was surprised at the outcome of the evening's sale after his sheep was auctioned for $17,200, breaking the previous record of nearly $5,000.

The largest record-breaking bid was for the grand champion steer shown by 16-year-old A.J. Line of Seaton. His crossbred sold for a whopping $52,000 or $800 higher than the former record. Line was also charitable, donating 10 percent of his winnings to the Orion Samuelson Hospital at St. Mary's OFS.

Other records were set for the champion barrow, which earned 17-year-old Trey Fecke of Bonfield $24,500, the Land of Lincoln Supreme Champion dairy print, which netted Trent Kilgus $3,000 and the Land of Lincoln champion barrow, which brought Kane Austin $11,000.