Mid-State Fair provides a forum for youth to build a future
The Mid-State Fair has ended and Future Farmers of America and 4-H members made out like bandits at the Junior Livestock Auction on July 30, with total sales estimated at more than $2 million.
Mid-State Fair CEO Michael Bradley welcomed the crowd at the Junior Livestock Auction.
"Welcome everybody to the California Mid-State Fair, the greatest fair in America," Bradley said. "We are here to make a difference for the kids, for agriculture, for the community and I need all your help. With all the terrible things that are going on in the world today, let's make a difference today in agriculture, in particular for young people that will be the leaders of our great nation."
Bradley honored Randy and Beth Blackesley for closing their livestock yard to support the youth auction and Joel Twisselman and Joann Switzer for donating their time to the auction and the fair for years.
Just days before, North County youth saw some big wins at both the Market Hog Competition on July 25 and at the Market Steer Competition on July 26. George H. Flamson Middle School student Leo Kemp, of Creston 4-H, brought home the title of Grand Champion Steer and Atascadero's own Brayden Kahler, of Cerro Alto 4-H, took home the title of Grand Champion Market Hog.
Kemp sold the Grand Champion Steer for $10 per pound for a total take of $13,340.
"I am happy that I did it and took home a win," Kemp said.
This was not Kemp's first year in competition, but it was his first big win. In 2015, Kemp raised a steer that was in group one of the Junior Livestock Sale Catalogue, just 13 slots away from reserve champion, and this year he surpassed even that to take home the Grand Champion title.
Kahler, 13, who attends school at Atascadero Junior High School, sold the Grand Champion Hog for $5,980. He exhibited 88, the Grand Champion Market Hog at the California Mid-State Fair for the Market Steer competition and made it to auction.
His mom Barbie Kahler said that this is her son's
fourth year in the 4-H program and his second time taking home the honors of Grand Champion Market Hog.
"Brayden's passions are baseball, hunting, fishing and showing his show pigs through the year with me," Barbie Kahler said. "This year Brayden wants to thank all that has made this year a huge success with 88. These hogs become a part of our family because we spend a tremendous amount of time with these hogs preparing them for our county fair and other shows. You must have drive to be successful. Not only in everyday life, but also in the barn. We are so happy for our son."
Atascadero High School student Gabby Vering, of Atascadero FFA, sold the Grand Champion Goat for $2,760. Vering was all smiles as she walked her champion goat up the ramp to the seller's pen. Wyatt Savage, of Chaparral 4-H, followed Vering and sold the Reserved Grand Champion Goat for $2,496.
Next up on the auction block was the Gand Champion Lamb, raised by Jacob Madden, of Templeton FFA, which sold for $60 per pound for a total take of $8,700. As the auctioneer rallied the crowd of hundreds, the bids just kept going up and the entire Madden family and friends were whooping and celebrating.
Ryan Domingo, of Ranchita Canyon 4-H, was not far behind Madden in the bids and sold the Reserve Grand Champion Lamb for $6,812.
There were 817 animals shown at auction and without the add-ons, the total sales were just under last year's official total of $2.1 million, though the total number could still exceed last year's amounts as the add-ons are tallied into the total. In total, an estimated $2,096,206 was raised at this year's auction.
For FFA and 4-H students, the Mid-State Fair provides a forum to build a future. Many of these champions will utilize their winnings to attend collage or trade schools and to raise the next granulation of champion livestock.
To sign up to show an animal at the Mid-State Fair next year or to learn more about the process, visit midstatefair.com.