Governor Pat Quinn proved to be a good “arm twister” at Tuesday evening’s Sale of Champion Illinois State Fair livestock and commodities.
“I wish you could raise as much money for the state of Illinois as you have here tonight,” master of ceremonies Orion Samuelson said.
With the encouragement of the governor, three records were broken. The first was for Sarah DeSchepper’s Grand Champion Wether. DeSchepper’s wether was auctioned off for $12,500, beating the previous record by $3,000.
“It’s awesome,” DeSchepper, 18, of Altona, said. “I’ve been here eight times and never done it. I’m glad this could be the year and I could be a part of it.”
The second record was for the sales price of the Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Barrow. It fetched $10,100 for showman Adam Gradert, 13, of Geneseo, or $100 more than the previous mark.
The third record was for Sherman teenager Austin Burris and his Grand Champion Steer. His steer was sold for a whopping $51, 200, breaking the previous record of $50,100.
“I was excited and I couldn’t believe it. It’s unbelievable,” the 18-year-old Burris said.
Joining these three record-breakers was a newcomer. 13-year-old Kenzie Schlipf came to the sale for the first time with her Grand Champion Rabbit Meat Pen.