The Sale of Champions at the Missouri State Fair is a celebration of the hard work and accomplishments from 12 outstanding FFA and 4-H youth livestock exhibitors.
At this year’s Sale of Champions a total of $142, 950 were raised. That money in part will go toward the Missouri State Fair Youth in Agriculture Scholarship Program.
“Seventy percent of the money stays with the exhibitor,” Superintendent Wayne Yokley said. “The other 30 percent is donated to the scholarship fund.”
“Since we began the program 23 years ago, we have awarded 506 scholarships to deserving students across the state,” Yokley added. “We truly couldn’t do this without the continued support of our sponsors and the buyers who come out every year to support the youth in agriculture.”
Two records were set at this year’s auction.
The Grand Champion Barrow, shown by Kaycee Vandiver, sold for $23,800 to BTC Bank and Elite Swine Program/ESP Show Feeds.
Sigma Alpha-Alpha Chi Sorority from the University of Missouri- Columbia and the Climate Corporation, a division of the Monsanto Company, purchased the Grand Champion Market Lamb, shown by Sydney Tomlin. It sold for $21,000.
“A friend said to me before I came today, ‘ You’re going to Sedalia to the Fair. I know you’re going to spend a lot of money,’” Bruce Butler of Elite Swine Program said to the audience gathered at the Lowell Mohler Assembly Hall for the sale. “I said, I’m not spending money, I’m making an investment in the youth of America.”
Many of the nine girls and three boys who were awarded either Grand Champion or Reserved Grand Champion said they planned to set aside their earning for college.
“What the sale does is it rewards the kids who show here today,” David Dick, Livestock Superintendent for the State Fair said. “I think all of them would say that it is also a way to help others through the scholarship program who weren’t lucky enough to get the purple ribbon at this event.
“The State Fair and the Sale of Champions really is the culmination of all the hard work by these FFA and 4-H exhibitors,” Dick said. “Throughout the Fair this year, we have had a number of high quality livestock and exhibitors.”
In his statements before the beginning of the sale, Missouri Secretary of Agriculture, Richard Fordyce not only recognized the youth of the state for their efforts but took the time to thank others as well.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the parents, FFA and 4-H sponsors and advisors, and the livestock superintendents who have worked tirelessly to help these young people,” Fordyce said. “Agriculture is the number one industry in our State, number two isn’t even close.”
The youth exhibitors are a major component of the Fair,” Fordyce added. “They truly are the future of agriculture in our State.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484