Saturday was a day to celebrate many of the finest youth and livestock the 2016 Missouri State Fair had to offer at the Sale of Champions.
It was also a day to break records as the sale raised $157,350.
The previous record was $153,200 in 2008 according to records provided by the State Fair Marketing Department.
“This is the 24th consecutive year for the Sale of Champions and since that point in time we have been able to support kids throughout the state for their hard work and efforts in raising their animals,” Wayne Yokley, superintendent of the sale said. “We appreciate the support from all of the buyers who come out year each and the general buyers because without them there is no way this could happen.”
“Seventy percent of the monies from the sale of each animal goes to the exhibitor,” Yokley explained with the other 30 percent going to the Youth in Agriculture Scholarship Program that benefits student from all over the state.”
According to Yokley the Youth in Agriculture Scholarship program has awarded over half a million dollars in scholarship to young men and women in 88 percent of the state’s 144 counties.
“This year’s show was very competitive,” Yokley said “We had roughly 800 barrows, 500 lambs, 150 whether goats, 43 pens of meat rabbits, 20 pens of chickens and 150 steers shown.
“I really want to thank the State Fair and everyone involved who have helped these individuals and all those who exhibited have another successful Fair,” he added. “They all do a good job to make the Fair better for the youth in our state.”
There are a number of factors that make the Sale of Champions one of the most important events at the Fair, according the Livestock and Beef Superintendent, David Dick,
“There are multiple factors for the importance of the sale,” Dick said prior to the start of the event Saturday afternoon. “First it rewards the exhibitors for all of the hard work, effort and skill that they have developed through working with their animals.
“The sale also generates funds for the Youth in Agriculture scholarship program that is important for both sides,” He added. “It helps those who are here today but it also will in turn help others who may never have the opportunity to show at the Sale of Champions but have worked hard throughout the year raising and caring for their animals.”
At the conclusion of each lot, the sellers were given the opportunity to thank those who helped them arrive at the Sale of Champions.
The young men and women all recognized their parents and family members for their love, support and help, many expressing the amount of time and commitment spent in raising their animals.
Brylee Williams, who showed the Reserve Grand Champion Boer goat, which was the final animal to be sold Saturday, perhaps best expressed the emotions and feelings of all in her remarks.
“My family always told me, ‘You don’t win the day of the show, you win at home.’” Williams said.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.