MOUNT VERNON — Auctioneer Red Shaw got the bidding off to a brisk start at Thursday’s Sale of Champions with John Ruckman’s 133-pound Grand Champion Market Lamb, which was purchased at $8 per pound by AVI Foodsystems on behalf of Kenyon College, a strong supporter of local food initiatives. Ruckman, making his first trip into the Sale of Champions ring, was extremely pleased with the bidding.
“It far exceeded what I expected,” Ruckman said.
David Ruckman’s Reserve Champion Market Lamb sold at $6 a pound and was bought by his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Don McFarland of McFarland’s Llama Farm. David said he was quite happy with the sale and has plans to use the funds earned from the sale to go toward his sheep operation, and his trip to New Zealand in the fall of 2010. The Grand Champion Pen of Three Market Lambs brought their owner, Jacob Jessee, a first-time champion sale qualifier, $3.50 a pound. Since their combined weight was 351 pounds, Jessee said he is very happy with the proceeds. The 15-year-old plans to put the money in the bank and save it in case he wants to go to college some day.
Gordon Huff of Huff’s Fine Jewelry purchased the lambs, and sent them back for resale.
“We have a lot of farm and rural customers,” he said, “and for over 20 years we have participated in the sale at the fair to give something back to our rural community.”
Dorinda Jessee’s Reserve Champion Pen of Three Market Lambs was bought for $2.50 per pound by AVI Foodsystems/Kenyon College. She, too, was pleased with the turnout.
“It’s gone really good so far,” Jessee said. “It’s been fun, and I got a good price.”
Cameron Leonard’s Grand Champion Market Beef, a Black Angus named Dozer, sold for $2.75 a pound and was immediately put up for resale by purchaser Bobby Small of Small’s Sand and Gravel.
“We have beef at home,” Small explained. “We just do this to try to help out the kids.”
Leonard said he thought the price, $3,369, was good. He plans to save it and buy another steer for next year.
“I am kind of sorry to see Dozer go,” he said.
Jordan Levering’s 1,376-pound Reserve Champion Market Beef Steer was bought for $3.75 per pound by a consortium of buyers representing Dumbaugh Insurance, B&B Farm Service and Country Court Nursing Center. The nine-year veteran of the fair said he was a little bit worried that the economy might hurt the auction this year, but said he ended up doing better than he expected to do.
Kari Bartley was enthused about the sale of her Grand Champion Market Hog, which was also purchased by Smalls. She sold her 253-pound hog for $8.50 a pound, and intends to use the money earned to by a Nintendo Wii. Bartley said she has every hope to do hogs again next year for the fair, and said they weren’t hard to raise.
Mason Shipley had no idea his grandfather, Jim Shipley, was bidding on his Reserve Champion Market Hog, but was happy his pig fetched $4.75 a pound. The 13-year-old plans to put the money in the bank and save it for future use.