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Illinois Ag News Headlines
Governor's Wife Out-Bids Him for State Fair Champion Steer
Illinois Ag Connection - 08/14/2019

Being in the Governor's Sale of Champions is something all livestock exhibitors dream about, but few are able to accomplish. Each year, this marquee event of the Illinois State Fair Ag Day festivities showcases the hard work and dedication of the youth in the agriculture industry.

In addition to being spotlighted before the crowd at the newly refurbished Coliseum on Tuesday night, these Grand Champion exhibitors, along with the Reserve Grand Champion exhibitors, will receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their animal. The exhibitors use the funds towards their college education or invest it back into projects for next year.

"These exhibitors are the future of agricultural in our state and the represent the best of the best," said John Sullivan, director, Illinois Department of Agriculture. "The Sale of Champions is the highlight of the Illinois State Fair and to be able to bring it back inside of the Coliseum is phenomenal."

CME Group also realizes the importance of education, which is why they have donated $50,000 in scholarships to this year's Sale of Champions. Each of the ten Grand Champion exhibitors will receive a $5,000 scholarship from CME Group. In addition to the $50,000 the CME Group will give $1,000 scholarships to the Reserve Grand Champions as well.

Governor JB Pritzker ended up in a bidding war for the Grand Champion Steer with none other than his wife, MK. She drove up the price as MK took home the Grand Champion Steer with a bid of $75,000.

Below are the results of the 2019 Commodity Auction and the 2019 Sale of Champions. It should be noted that the goats, sheep, barrows, and steers are being donated to the University of Illinois College of ACES.

Commodity - Exhibitor - Location - Purchasers - Price

- Champion Feta in Brine - Nasonville Dairy, Mashfield, Wis. - Davis Family (McDonalds) Marty Davis - $225

- Grand Champion Medium Cheddar Cheese - Foremost Farms, Mashfield, Wis. -CTC Food Sanitation Company, Rod Buffington - $600

- Grand Champion Colby Jack Cheese - Shullsburg Creamery, Shullsburg, Wis. - University of Illinois College of ACES, Dean Kidwell - $600

- Grand Champion Swiss Cheese - Prairie Farms Dairy Cheese Monona, Iowa - Farm Credit of Illinois, Illinois State Auctioneers Association, President: Kara Miller - $325

- Grand Champion Smoked Cheddar Cheese - Shullsburg Cheese - Cory Craig and William Beck - $350

- Grand Champion Beef Jerkey - Turasky Meats, Springfield, Ill. - Joe Hampton and George Obernagel - $475

- Grand Champion Cooked Bratwurst, Thrushwood Farms Quality Meats, Galesburg, Ill. - Ed McMillan - $475

- Grand Champion Snack Sticks - Ream's Meat Market, Elburn, Ill. - Illinois Association of Meat Processors - $450

- Grand Champion Bacon - Leiding's Meats, Danville, Ill. - McGraw Family (McDonalds) Mike McGraw - $525

- Grand Champion Bone in Ham - Eikman's Processing, Seward, Ill. - Joe Hampton and George Obernagel - $500

- Best of Show Wine - Galena Cellar, Jo Daviess County - Canton Inn Steakhouse and McDowell Auctioneer - $325

- Grand Champion Honey - Jim and Karen Belli, Wadsworth, Ill. - Illinois State Bee Keepers Association - $600

- Best in Show Dairy Goat's Milk - Lillian Lee, Chatham, Ill. - Laura Chenels Chevve - $1,500

Animal - Exhibitor, County - Purchasers - Price

- Grand Champion Rabbit Meat Pen - Owen Pree, Iroquois - AgriVest Farm Management & George Obernagel - $4,000

- Grand Champion Poultry Market Pen - Faith Foster, Ford - McDonald's Owners Embry, Breznay, McGraw and Davis - $5,000

- Land of Lincoln Supreme Champion Dairy Cow Print - Carla Kilgus, Livingston - Midwest Dairy, Brandt, Prairie Farms and Friends of Kilgus - $2,500

- Reserve Grand Champion Meat Goat and Lincoln Land Grand Champion Meat Goat - Chase Tomhave, Morgan - Sygenta, Prairie Land FS, Springfield Plastics, Edward Teefey, Sky Ride, Beard Implement - $5,500

- Grand Champion Meat Goat - Tara Hummel, Kankakee - RD Lawrence, Selvaggio Steel, Felmley Dickerson Co. and AgriGold - $5,500

- Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Market Lamb - Macy DeBlock, Mercer - Beck's, AgriGold and High Noon - $3,500

- Grand Champion Market Lamb - Carter Hoge, McDonough - North American Midway - $8,000

- Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Barrow - Ella Bobell, Logan - DeKalb, Bayer Crop Science and Asgrow - $18,000

- Grand Champion Barrow - Claire Bobell, Logan - CME Group - $25,000

- Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Steer - Tara Hummel, Kankakee - Brandt - $30,500

- Grand Champion Steer - Cole Caldwell, Peoria - MK Pritzker - $75,000

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