SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Some of the best livestock in the state were auctioned off Tuesday evening at the Governor’s Sale of Champions.
Livestock exhibitors compete for their animals to be named Grand Champion, and then are auctioned off for Ag Day at the state fair. The proceeds go partially to back to the exhibitor’s families for college educations as well as investing in next year’s livestock.
“The Sale of Champions is the cherry on top of the Illinois State Fair,” Jerry Costello II, Illinois Department of Agriculture Director said. “To see our youth in agriculture rewarded for the work that they put into these animals is my favorite aspect of the Illinois State Fair.”
The Grand Champion Steer, King, raised by Ashtin Guyer, sold for $105,000 to Illinois first lady M.K. Pritzker, competing with her husband. This ties the record set last year for the final bid of a Grand Champion steer, and both years the steer was donated to the Central Illinois Foodbank.
Guyer said having King chosen was a great payoff to all her hard work.
“It’s just an an instant flood of emotions running through you,” Guyer said. “People are screaming and they’re cheering and you’re so excited and it’s just something that’s almost overwhelming but to a point but it’s hard to explain until you feel it for yourself.”
Guyer’s sister Nalaney also had her Land of Lincoln Grand Champion lamb auctioned for $5,000.
A record-breaker was for the Grand Champion Market Pen rabbits. Chesney Thorton’s rabbits sold for $7,600 to AgriVest Farm Management, George Obernagel and Republican candidate for governor Darren Bailey.