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Premium Auction Closes Out Palo Alto County Fair

By Staff | Jul 27, 2010

GOING, GOING, GONE! -- Brian Merrill and his market beef wait as auction assistant Zach Classen works for a bid in the All Premium Auction that closed the Palo Alto County Fair on Sunday. A rocky start weather-wise to the fair with heavy rain and scorching temperatures on Thursday was countered with near-perfect weather over the weekend to put the 2010 edtion of the fair in the record books as a successful effort. Merrill is the son of Craig and Kathy Merrill of Emmetsburg and a member of the 4-H Shooting Sports Club. -- Dan Voigt photo

Some spirited bidding and a generous donation by a newcomer to Palo Alto County helped make the All-Premium Auction of the Palo Alto County Fair a success on Sunday afternoon, bringing the annual celebration of Summer to a close. With some skilled crying, a little pleading and some bidding battles, auctioneers Dan Vonnahme, Tom Eberle, Jay Bargman, Pat Vonnahme and Zach Classen helped raise just over $30,000 for the premiums offered for sale in the show pavilion Sunday afternoon. Sale clerks Doug Welander of Laurens State Bank and former Palo Alto County Fair Queens Karen Naig and Bridget Rouse helped keep track of the bids from the crowd during the event.

A new member of the Palo Alto County business community stepped up prior to the Premium Auction to throw its support behind the 4-H and FFA exhibitors, as Eric and Mary Woodford, owners of Woodford Equipment of Emmetsburg, generously donated a $5 premium for each exhibitor above the auction premiums earned under the auction gavel.

In the final tabulations, the 72 premiums sold at auction raised a total of $30, 145, down some $5,655 from the previous year’s sale for 73 projects. The total sale translates into an average premium of $418.68 per exhibitor, which is $71.73 less than last year’s individual average of $490.41 per exhibitor.

A total of 40 buyers and cooperative buying groups participated in the all-premium auction. Under the system, the livestock entries, with the exception of dairy animals, are transported to terminal markets where they are sold at current market price, which is paid to the exhibitors. The bid at the all-premium auction is their “reward” for the work and efforts put into their respective project.

Dairy Sale

There were just four dairy exhibitors in the sale, but those youth received total premiums of $945, which was considerably lower than last year’s $3,050 total. That translated into an average premium of $236.25 per exhibitor, down almost half from the $508.33 per exhibitor paid in 2009.

Jenna Chapman’s Supreme Champion Dairy animal fetched a premium of $295 in the auction, which was purchased jointly by Energy Panel Structures of Graettinger and the Wild Rose Casino and Resort of Emmetsburg. by Animal Medical Centers of Spencer. The Supreme Reserve Champion Dairy animal, shown by Janet Kenyon of Whittemore, earned a premium of $200 from John Kenyon. The premiums paid ranged from the $200 premium to the high of $325 for the four exhibitors

Market Swine Sale

In the swine auction, a total of $7,700 was raised for the 20 exhibitors, down $2,300 from the $10,100 raised in 2009, for an average premium of $385, down $ 54.15 from the 2009 sale total of $439.15 per exhibitor.

There was some very spirited bidding for both the Supreme Champion and Reserve Champion Market Pigs, as Kristen Kassel’s Supreme Champion would go to Wildcat Feeders of Fort Morgan, Colorado, for $975. The bidding grew higher for Kyle Kassel’s Supreme Reserve Champion Market pig, which would eventually command a premium of $1,150, paid by Spencer Agronomy Services. Premiums paid in the swine auction ranged from the $1,150 top to $225.

Market Lamb/Meat Goats

There were 14 sheep exhibitors in the auction, who received a total of $4,725 in this year’s premium auction, which was up $800 from last year’s $3,925 auction. On the average, sheep exhibitors received an average premium of $337.50, an increase of $10.42 over the $327.08 premium from 2009.

Kyle Hurley’s Supreme Grand Champion market lamb would receive a premium of $500 from the Jeff Grossnickle family; Luke Mogler’s Supreme Reserve Champion Market Lamb received a premium of $225 from Whittemore Feeder’s Supply.

Premiums for the market lambs ranged from $650 to $200 for the exhibitors.

In conjunction with the sheep sale, the first-ever Meat Goat sale was held, with the three exhibitors receiving $950 in premiums, an average of $316.67 per exhibitor. Kelsey Hurley’s Champion and Reserve Champion Goats received a premium of $400, which was paid by Fred Brown Pioneer Seeds and John Deere Crop Insurance Services. Goat premiums ranged from $275 to $400.

Market Beef Sale

The auction of the market beef would feature 31 projects, earning a total of $15,825 for the exhibitors, down $ 2,900 from the 2009 sale total of $18,725, for an average payout of $510.48, or $74.68 less than last year’s premium of $585.16 per exhibitor.

Josh Kibbie’s Supreme Grand Champion steer was sold to Cathy Schmitz and Senator Jack Kibbie for $825, while Kerber Milling Company purchased Justin Kibbie’s Supreme Overall Reserve Champion for $700.  The high premium paid for beef was $1,500 by Heartland Livestock for the feeder pen of calves shown by Blake Schany of Emmetsburg, while the range of premiums extended from the  $1,500 to $275.

Auction Buyers

Without the loyal and generous support of individuals, businesses and buying cooperative groups, the Premium Auction would not be possible. That belief in the future of youth was displayed again during Sunday’s auction.

The buyers’ cooperatives from Cylinder and Emmetsburg stepped up again to support the youth of the county throughout the entire auction. Those businesses and individuals supporting the Cylinder Booster group included Iowa Trust and Savings Bank, Reding DeKalb Seed Sales, Ohrtman Ag, Weisbrod Electric, Cylinder RV, Inc., Tom Eischen Sales, Ernie Williams Ltd., Steve and Chris Reding, The Rack Shack, JT Body Shop, King Family Farms, Kurt and Sarah Bonnstetter, Elbert Chevrolet, Whittemore Frozen Foods, Bonnstetter Auto Body, Estee Fogarty, Whittemore Truck & Trailer, and Berkland Seed.

Members of the Emmetsburg Auction Boosters Cooperative included POET Biorefining, AG Processing (AGP), Christensen Family Farms, Food Pride, Iowa Trust and Savings Bank, Mansmith Pharmacy, Building Centers, The Glass Shop, Global Ag Investments, LLC, Hardware Hank, Jensvold Motors, Johnson Realty, Ken Krause Motors, Laurens State Bank and Martin-Mattice Funeral Home.

Also participating in the buying cooperative were Mehan, Holland & Central Financial Group, Pizza Ranch, Ver Mulm Eye Clinic, Wentzel’s True Value/Just Ask Rental, America’s Best Value Inn – Suburban Motel, Emmetsburg Collision, Financial Center, Hughes Pharmacy, Emmetsburg Chiropractic, Emmetsburg Eye Care Office, NAPA Auto Parts and Palo Alto County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Also purchasing livestock premiums during the auction on Sunday were Chad Anderson Pioneer Seeds, Emmetsburg Veterinary Clinic, Heartland Livestock, Jay Bargman Pioneer Seeds, Dan Classen, West Iowa Bank, Kibbie Brothers, Aldous Cattle, Pat Gappa Repair, Steve Olesen, Algona Livestock and Cathy Schmitz.

Additional buyers included Kerber Milling, Senator Jack Kibbie, the Wild Rose Casino and Resorts, Vonnahme Feeds, Duane Hoffman, Ron and Mary Mader, John and Bernie Kenyon, Fareway Stores of Emmetsburg, Spencer Ag Center, Bert Naig-Golden Harvest Seeds and John Kenyon.

Other premium auction buyers included Energy Panel Structures (EPS), Spencer Agronomy, Wildcat Feeders, Banwart Trucking, Studer Trucking, Emmet County State Bank, Marcie Frevert, Hurley Farms, Jeff Grossnickle Family, Solberg Seed Sales, West Iowa Bank, Classen’s Clippers, Ruppert Brothers, Jim Harvey, Country View Acres, Bohn’s PlainView Acres, Fred Brown Pioneer and John Deere Crop Insurance Services.