9/8/2012 7:00 AM
By Carolyn N. Moyer Northern Pa. Correspondent
TROY, Pa. — As bidding for the steers, swine, rabbits, goats and lambs at the 2012 Troy Fair escalated to a fierce pace, sale records were shattered, translating into one of the highest grossing sales in Bradford County history, with a bit more than $148,998 taken in on 139 lots.
Earning their spots in the record books as sale toppers were the champion lamb and champion hog, which were sold for $31 per pound and $11 per pound.
“We are very blessed to have such support from our bidders and our community. The support that they give Bradford County agricultural youth is just amazing,” said Bradford County Extension educator Tom Maloney. “They donate the animals back to help us with scholarships and projects every year. They’re a great bunch.”
Twelve market lambs were sold with an average price of $5.50 per pound. The 111-pound grand champion record-breaker was raised by Jacob Hottle. Dewart Livestock Market purchased the lamb for $31 a pound.
Hottle has been a 4-H member for nine years. This is the second year that he has shown sheep, but the first that he has shown at the Troy Fair.
What’s his secret to having a champion?
“Work hard for it,” he said.
The reserve grand champion market lamb was raised by Richard Powell. His 118-pound lamb was purchased by Longenecker Storage for $11.50 a pound.
Jenna Harnish’s market hog tipped the scales at 264 pounds and broke the top mark for hog sales. The heavyweight hog was designated the grand champion of the show and was purchased by Chesapeake Energy for $11 a pound.
This is Harnish’s fourth year raising market hogs and her first year with the grand champion hog.
“I’m learning new things every year,” she said.
The 244-pound reserve grand champion market hog was raised by Jessica Nolt and was purchased by Bishop Brother’s Construction for $5.75 a pound.
In her second year in 4-H and her first year raising market hogs, Nolt was excited to have a champion.
“It was really easy. I just feed them and clean their pen. I will do it again,” she said.
Tommy Bologna was a 255-pound hog that was raised to benefit the 4-H endowment fund. Lopatofsky Auctions purchased the pig for $3.75 a pound.
Fifty-nine market hogs were sold, grossing nearly $61,000 with an average price of $4.36 per pound.
Thirteen market goats were sold with an average selling price of $5.40 per pound. The grand champion market goat was raised by Montana Hildebrandt and weighed 91 pounds. Talisman USA purchased the goat for $7 a pound.
Hildebrandt is a senior 4-H member, having been involved in the program for 10 years and the market goat project for the past six years.
“I’ve spent five years of trying, losing and learning all the way. It was well worth it,” she said. “It was well worth the wait and patience pays off in the end. I am really excited to have the grand champion.”
Morgen Davis’ 64-pound reserve grand champion market goat was sold for $6.50 a pound to First Citizens Community Bank. Davis has been in the champion arena two other times in his six-year 4-H career and takes an active part in choosing his market animals.
“I liked his loin,” he said.
Tyson Harnish’s Simmental-Angus cross grand champion market steer was the first to enter the ring. When the bidding ended, Talisman Energy purchased the 1,220-pound animal for $3.50 a pound.
Harnish, an 11-year-old member of the North Towanda 4-H Club, is in his second year of the market steer project.
“It’s fun and in the end you get money,” he said. “I like it because I have to work with them.”
The 1,385-pound reserve grand champion steer, raised by Javon Stringham, was purchased by Flynn Energy for $2 a pound. Sales of the 23 steers totaled nearly $58,148 with an average price of $2.15 per pound.
Two pens of market rabbits were sold at the auction but were sold a total of six times. The grand champion rabbit pen, presented by Haley Hemmerly, was sold to Chesapeake Energy for $925. It then went through the auction three more times. The reserve champion meat rabbit pen, raised by Ryan Smith, was sold to Northern Tier Solid Waste Authority for $200 and was also donated back to be re-sold.
Three steers, eight market hogs, eight goats and six market lambs were sent back through the ring, raising funds for 4-H programs and fairground facilities.
For the 4-H program, just over $6,457 was donated to a scholarship fund, a bit more than $1,377 was designated to benefit the 4-H program in general and $200 was earmarked for the 4-H exchange program.
Funds in excess of $2,000 were also designated for pig barn improvements including awnings and fans. Money was also designated for horse barn improvements, horse arena lighting and dairy barn improvements.