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WAPAKONETA — The grand champion market steer’s selling price, setting a new high-water mark for steers, highlighted the second day of the Auglaize County Fair livestock auction, but for the second consecutive year an emotional moment caused tears to flow for bidders and two exhibitors.
Caitlin Schaub sold the grand champion market steer for $20,000 to five buyers, far eclipsing the $11,600 paid for Paige Klopfenstein’s grand champion market steer last year.
The auctioneer started the bidding at $15,000, but quickly dropped the amount to $10,000 before a bidding war moved it upward. It stagnated as it approached the $18,000 mark before the final amount stunned the full Show Barn.
As the bidding war ensued, Caitlin walked her steer around the ring in Show Barn No. 1, showing off its black fur sprinkled with glitter.
“When the auction price kept going up, It was so unreal,” the daughter of Judy and Mike Schaub said. “I was just thinking of all the work that I did and how I got mad at my dad for not letting me go places because I had to work with my steer. All the work pays off.”
During the middle of the auction, Caitlin could be seen whispering into her steer’s ear.
“I just told him everything was going to be alright because he got a little scared when a person was yelling pretty loud,” the Prospects member said, referring to one of the bid spotters screaming when a bid was made.
As for the money, the 13-year-old eighth-grader plans to put most of it away for college with some to be used to purchase a steer for the 2013 fair.
She said her 1,313-pound steer is “just a big baby,” but she also noted her father’s insistence of taking care of her 4-H project “taught me a lot about responsibility” and being able to show at the fair “is just a lot of fun.”
When she won grand champion market steer on Wednesday night, Caitlin struggled to find the right words.
“I was just so happy — I cried,” Caitlin said. “My parents were just so happy for me, too, and then I realized all my hard work paid off.”
Kerrie Miller, a member of the Wapakoneta FFA, sold her reserve champion market steer for $4,250. The daughter of Kellie and Ron Miller showed a 1,307-pound steer.
Brandon Turner, the son of Holly and Chris Turner, showed the grand champion dairy steer. The Waynesfield All-Around Livestock member sold his animal for $4,500.
The reserve champion dairy steer brought $1,700 for Jamison Vogel, the son of Dorine and Dan Vogel. Jamison is a member of the St. Marys FFA.
Austin Albers sold the grand champion and reserve champion carcass steer for $2,000 and $1,500, respectively. The New Knoxville Livestock Booster is a the son of Amy and Dennis Albers.
Siblings dominated the poultry sale.
Adam and Mitchell, the sons of Ann and Jeff Vogel, showed and sold the grand champion and reserve champion market pen of poultry. Both are members of the Noble Harvesters 4-H Club.
Adam sold his pen for $1,000, while Mitchell sold his poultry for $700.
Tyler Nowicki sold the reserve champion market turkey tom for $750, while his younger brother, Jacob, sold the reserve champion market turkey hen for $350. They are the sons of Ardenia and Jerry Nowicki.
Joni Brown and her brother, Adam, sold the grand champion market turkey tom and grand champion market turkey hen, respectively, as they won both titles. She sold her tom for $1,000, and he sold his hen for $750.
The siblings showing turkeys at the fair came from a natural progression of poultry at the fair.
“At first we just showed chickens and then my sister’s friend wanted to show turkeys so we did,” Joni said.
“We started with chickens and we now have a bunch of chickens and then we moved to showing geese so we figured we would show turkeys and see if we could win,” Adam said, noting their chickens numbers grew from five to more than 300 chickens. “We like to show as much as we can.”
An unselfish attitude helped the siblings win. Adam, 16, said he felt he had the best tom and best hen at home so he wanted Joni, 18, to have the best chance to win so he let Joni show the tom.
“He gave me the good one because it was my last year and he gave me some good pointers to show them,” Joni said. “He did the same thing for our older sister a couple of years ago.”
He did the same thing for his sister, Rena, in 2009. That year, he felt he had the best pen of poultry and because it would have been her last year he wanted her to show the chickens. She earned reserve champion pen of poultry that year of the fair.
Their parents are Carol and Joe Brown.
The most touching moment came during the poultry portion of the livestock auction, reminding many bidders of the emotional challenge last year by Earl Schaub to help provide more funds for the Niki Schaub Memorial Fund, which awards scholarships to 4-H members.
John Craft, a member of the Wapakoneta FFA, entered the ring clutching his chicken with its head under his arm. The bidding soon climbed above $1,000.
Craft fought back tears that welled up in his eyes. The sale amount kept climbing. He finally had to wipe away a tear that had rolled down his cheek.
The amount finally nestled at $4,100.
He walked away to be hugged by friends and his sister, Caroline, who would enter the ring six people later. Her eyes dampened and cheeks red from crying, she brought in her chicken for auction with the amount quickly soaring to $2,000.
She looked around the ring, holding her chicken when the amount hit the same as her brother’s animal.
The auctioneer asked her if the amount would be enough. Fighting her emotions, she screamed, “Yes,” with the crowd realizing her gratitude.
John and Caroline Craft’s father, Dane Craft, 45, a 4-H adviser died the week before the fair started. He also left behind a son, Tucker, and his wife, Julie.
Julie Craft summoned the bravery to address the crowd a few moments later.
“Thank you so much. If Dane had been here he would have been so proud of his children,” Julie Craft said, “and so proud of the fact we live in a community that cares so much.”