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General Information

Press Release

August 12, 2003


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed a bill and participated in the bidding at the 2003 Sale of Champions today to celebrate Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair.

The Agricultural Production Contract Code, Illinois’ first law designed specifically to protect the state’s growing number of contract farmers, was signed by the governor during a noon rally. The code specifies provisions that must be met in production contracts between farmers and agriculture companies, including a requirement that contracts be written in plain language using commonly understood terms. It also eliminates fine print, stipulating that contracts be printed in at least 10-point type, and restricts agricultural companies’ ability to unilaterally terminate farmers’ contracts.

Tuesday evening, Governor Blagojevich and Agriculture Director Charles “Chuck” Hartke worked the crowd gathered in the Livestock Center for the Sale of Champions to increase bidding for the fair’s prize-winning commodities and livestock. Livestock auction proceeds reward not only the hard work of the junior producer, who receives 80 percent of the sales price, but also 4-H and FFA, which equally divide the remaining 20 percent.

The sale of the Grand Champion Steer was the highlight, as it was again auctioned off twice. Friends and Believers of Jr. Market Livestock Expo, Drs. Jamie and Valerie Nesselrod, DMA Angus Cattle Co. and Mark Ray and Family, BBC, first bought the steer for $21,500.

They then donated the champion animal so it could be auctioned a second time to benefit the Orion Samuelson Scholarship Foundation, Illinois 4-H and the Illinois FFA Foundation. In the second auction, the steer garnered an additional $15,000 from Michael Kilander and family, Doug Klink and family, Jeff Hellman and family, Sean O’Connor and family, Steve Dauby and family and Governor Blagojevich. The steer, shown by Brad Moritz of Buckingham, Ill., originally was the reserve grand champion, but was entered in the sale after the former grand champion was disqualified for violating the Junior Steer Show’s drug policy. Moritz learned his steer would be sold a few hours before auction after appeals of the disqualification were denied.

The auction began with the sale of Tari Rogganbuck’s Rabbit Pen Trio. Fred and Jill Nessler, Larry and Ann Breon and Lyle and Cathy Flack purchased the Bonfield girl’s rabbits for $3,750 and then gave them to the governor’s seven year-old daughter, Amy.

The McDonalds Corporation purchased the Grand Champion Barrow, bred by David Schuler of Lexington, Ill., for $16,500.

The Grand Champion Wether sold for $7,750. Blomsness-Thebault purchased it from Heather Alexander of La Prairie, who made her second straight appearance in the pen at the Sale of Champions, having shown last year’s Grand Champion wether as well.

The Poultry Pen Trio, owned by Kaleb Gordon of Lincoln, Ill., attracted a winning bid of $1,500 from Narmont Law, Poe’s Catering and Coliseum Corner.

The 2003 Commodities Auction preceded the Governor’s Sale of Champions. The Grand Champion Pepper Cheese, shown by Harley Swan of Claremore, Okla., was sold for a record $750 to George Obernagel, $225 more than the previous record.

The Doe of Show milk set a record of a new kind when it was sold an unprecedented three times. Shown by Lee Bergfield of Bellflower, Ill., the milk was bought for $325 by Illinois State Auctioneers and Farm Credit Services. They then donated it to be auctioned again, and it was bought for $325 by Lynn Carey and Mike Crabtree. Carey and Crabtree promptly returned the milk to be sold for a third time, and Bellflower Feedmills, Evergreen FS, Parkland Ag Club and Allen Farm acquired it for $300. The proceeds from the second and third auctions will be divided equally between Illinois 4-H and Illinois FFA.

Chuck and Kathy Bloomberg purchased the Best of Show Wine from Mackinaw Valley Vineyard for $700.

The Grand Champion Honey, exhibited by Leo Spicer of Pleasant Plains, was purchased for $450 by WGN radio personality and Sale of Champions emcee Orion Samuelson. Illinois Farmers Union purchased the Grand Champion Colby Cheddar, provided by Bob Linley of Walnut, for $600.

Lori Kissner of Green Bay, Wis., exhibited the Grand Champion Aged Cheddar, which was sold for $650 to Bobby Easter and Richard Herman. Earl Sorrells of Sorrells’ Farm Supply purchased the Grand Champion Ham for $750 from Lena Maid Meats of Lena, Ill.

The Grand Champion Processed Beef, exhibited by Eickman’s Processing Co. of Seward, Ill., earned $450 on a bid from the Illinois Association of Meat Processors. The Grand Champion Bacon, exhibited by Behrmann’s Processing Co. of Albers, Ill., was purchased for $550 by Corporation Training Center and Truckers Homestead Restaurant.

The auctioneers for the Commodities Auction and Governor’s Sale of Champions included Michael Hobbes of Murphysboro, Tuesday’s winner of the Auctioneer’s Bid Calling Contest.


Southdown Sheep
Ram Grand Champion Cole Meisenheimer Palmyra, IL
Ram Reserve Champion Ericka Hoffman Mackinaw, IL
Ewe Grand Champion
Cole Meisenheimer Palmyra, IL
Ewe Reserve Champion Rachel Mullivan St. Joe, IL
LaMancha Goats
Doe Grand Champion Carolyn Kirwan Ivesdale, IL
Doe Reserve Champion Eddie Jodlowski Atlanta, IL
Hampshire Swine
Barrow Champion Katy Bobell Elkhart, IL
Barrow Reserve Champion Ryan Tiarks Onarga, IL
Cutest Little Farmer
Boys 2-3
1st Place Zach Richmond
2nd Place Hunter Woods
3rd Place Gabriel Stevens
Boys 4-5
1st Place Oaklee Ridge
2nd Place Keith Steele
3rd Place C.J. Burris
Boys 6-7
1st Place Sammy Trig
2nd Place Nick Sinclair
3rd Place Griffin Kopecky
Boys 10
1st Place W. William Bater
Girls 2-3
1st Place Velauna Herman
2nd Place Kaelee Doyer
3rd Place Jessie Schneider
Girls 4-5
1st Place Randallynn Smith
2nd Place Hayley Cole
3rd Place Baile Brinkman
Girls 6-7
1st Place Atlanta Banteu
2nd Place Julia Dierker
Girls 8-9
1st Place Samantha Senton
2nd Place Dylan Hewell
Chocolate Champion Contest
1st Place Laura Carroll Athens, IL
2nd Place Shirley Casfles Springfield, IL
3rd Place Pat Nelson Vermont, IL
Hampshire Sheep
Grand Champion Edward Niemeier Edwardsville, Ill.
Reserve Grand Champion Richard Crome Charleston, Ill.
Grand Champion Plaza Hampshires c/o Brad Payne Plano, Ill.
Reserve Grand Champion Plaza Hampshires c/o Brad Payne Plano, Ill.
Alpine Goats
Grand Champion Ed Jodlowski Atlanta, Ill.
Reserve Grand Champion Jonathan Lawyer Toledo, Ill.


8 a.m. Ayrshire Dairy Cattle Show
Livestock Center
8 a.m. Spotted Swine Show
Swine Barn
8 a.m. Yorkshire Swine Show
Swine Barn
9 a.m. Nubian and Recorded Goats
Goat Barn
9 a.m. Suffolk Sheep Show
Sheep Barn
9 a.m. Junior Dairy Show
Junior Livestock Building
1 p.m. Montadale Sheep Show
Sheep Barn
1 p.m. Milking Shorthorn Dairy Cattle Show
Livestock Center
4 p.m. Elvis Extravaganza
Multi Purpose Arena
6 p.m. Dorset Sheep Show
Sheep Barn
6 p.m. Dance Group Talent Contest
Illinois Building
7 p.m. Society Horse Show
7:30 p.m. Superior Young Dairy Producer
Livestock Center

For more information about the Illinois State Fair, visit the fair website at www.illinoisstatefair.info. The Fair runs through Aug. 17 in Springfield.


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