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The Versailles Republican

July 31, 2014 • Headlines

The Ripley Co. Queen and her court were fourth runner-up in the greased pig contest at the Ripley County 4-H Fair.
Diamond Rio, pictured above, is this year's entertainment headliner at the Vevay Swiss Wine Festival in August.
A first job for many is often at a fast food restaurant. It was for Isabella Gramaglia and Morgan Cutter, who both work at the Versailles Dairy Queen. Both said the job has helped them with attention to detail, and neither said they are sick of ice cream!
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Ripley Co. 4-H Fair livestock auction raises over $126,000

Sandy Day Howard

It was another great year in 4-H history at the 2014 Ripley County Fair! Kids of all ages submitted their annual projects for the judges to scrutinize in hopes of being awarded the coveted Grand Champion ribbon, while non-participants enjoyed the exhibits, rides and grandstand shows.

Lacy Engelking


Lacy Engelking is all smiles as she and Isabella show off the grand champion poultry meat pen entry. She received $575 from two buyers, Neal’s Funeral Home and Hummel Winters Insurance.

The livestock auction enlists the support of the entire community, bringing together businesses, families and friends to bid on animals raised by diligent and optimistic 4-Hers. This year was no disappointment, as the auction produced $126,325 in bids for animals raised with care by kids. A total of 242 animals were auctioned to 143 buyers.

Kevin Campbell was in attendance as a representative of FCN Bank to bid on livestock. He had this to say about his company’s pledge to get involved in the project: “We participate to give back to the community. I grew up doing all this in Franklin County. I have more fun on auction day as a buyer than I did coming to the fair as a kid.” Campbell smiled as he continued,” I remember trying to get buyers and how hard that was, so when these kids come to the bank and ask for support I remember that.”

Campbell said he feels like he’s able now to ‘pay it forward,’a return for what was done for him as a 4-H’er. Last year Samantha Hansen’s cow produced the most any animal had ever brought in Ripley County Fair history. Sam was one of three South Ripley students killed in a tragic automobile accident in March of her senior year. Proceeds of the sale of Sam’s cow ‘Daisy’ went to the Samantha Hansen Memorial Scholarship Fund. This year, that same spirit was evident when the auctioneer announced that siblings, who had lost their mother this year, were auctioning their pigs. Bid cards shot up for at least 15 minutes after the auctioneer announced the special sale, and over $8,000 was raised for Lindsey and Corey Huffmeyer from businesses, families and individuals.

This year’s beef market brought in $28,250, while the swine sales totaled $54,550. The total for meat goats was $13,475 and $5,175 was invested in sheep.

Tami Ertel, whose 10-year-old daughter Erika sold her pig, took out a thank-you ad in the newspaper because she was appreciative of the two buyers. “People don’t realize how much work this is!” She said her daughter Erika will probably have a hard time giving up the pig again this year. “Last year, she stayed in the pen with her pig for an hour in tears. She didn’t eat pork chops for three months because she was afraid she was eating her pig!”

It was Laine Struewing’s first time as a participant in the auction. Laine, 12, entered her goat, which she had even tried to bottle feed during its infancy. “I like to have the responsibility!” she remarked. Laine said she was careful not to get attached to her animal, knowing she would be offering it for auction at the fair. Dressed in a blue plaid shirt and sparkly belt for her goat’s big debut, Laine is a member of the “Busy Bees” 4-H Club.

Gus, Laine’s brother, got $400 for his prized rabbit and wasn’t sure what he would do with the money, but he was well pleased with the auction’s result.

Nine-year exhibitor, Joe Brewington is a member of the Olean Volunteers. As he cleaned his steer in preparation for the auction, he said, “It doesn’t bother me to sell my animal. I’m used to it!”

Steve Gemmer with GEI Fluid Power bought a number of animals throughout the five-hour event. It doesn’t actually benefit his company, he said, but he feels strongly about 4-H and the values it instills in children. “This is one of the last things left in America where kids really learn what life’s about. I’ve traveled a lot and I’m amazed at these kids in the city who don’t have a clue about real life. It helps to support family and strengthen values.”

Rodney Stratton, Ripley Co. Sheriff, said that he noticed, when he was reviewing paperwork, that his department bought pork from Ohio for inmate meals. He thought: “Why not keep it local?” Stratton says he can’t pay more than market price, as he is using taxpayer money, but said he knows most kids have more than one hog to sell. Stratton bought 12 hogs at market price, which will be locally processed. It was a win-win for all, he said, and he believes the pork will be better-tasting food for the inmates.

Although it’s often difficult for kids to give up the livestock they’ve raised from year to year, 4-Hers are usually comforted by the money they are able to pocket from the sale of their prized entries. Many 4-H participants use the money for vehicles, save it for college or re-invest it for next year’s entry. Emotional attachments aside, the 2014 Ripley Co. 4-H Fair appears to be a win-win for everyone involved. The Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis runs from Friday, August 1-17.

Pick up this week's edition of The Versailles Republican for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Remember your first job? Locals share memories of summertime jobs
• County health board supports walking path (Read the quarterly health inspection report on page 8.)
• Schools deal with new staff, new technology

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