MEYERSDALE, Pa. — The Somerset County Fair’s annual livestock sale brought in $298,845 for 307 market animals on Aug. 25.
For Renee Svonavec, 18, of Rockwood, this year’s fair proved to be a grand time as she won grand champion steer, grand champion goat, reserve grand champion lamb, champion heifer, senior showman for her pig, and a weight division win for her pig.
“There are many life lessons to be learned working with these animals, and the bonds you make with them last forever,” said Svonavec, who graduated from Rockwood Area High School this spring and is now attending Penn State’s main campus for agribusiness management. She is the daughter of Vince and Donna Svonavec and a member of Rockwood FFA and High Ridge 4-H Club. She was also FFA chapter and county president.
Fifty steers sold for $148,009. Svonavec sold her grand champion steer named Leo for $3 a pound to Pennwoods Enterprises of Meyersdale.
She sold her grand champion goat, Scubby, for $16 a pound to LPR Midstream. There were 56 goats, selling for a total of $22,536.
Her reserve champion lamb went for $4.75 a pound to Hoss’s restaurant in Somerset.
Svonavec wasn’t the only one having a good week at the fair.
Paige Stahl, 21, of Somerset won grand champion lamb with her sheep named Dingo, and reserve champion swine with her pig, PaulyD.
Stahl is the daughter of Kermit and Greta Stahl and is a member of Somerset FFA. She is a senior at California University of Pennsylvania, majoring in elementary education. She has won numerous awards throughout the years and shows with her younger sister, Tessa. Her sheep came from Shroyer Show Stock in De Graff, Ohio.
Stahl sold her grand champion lamb for $9.50 a pound to LPR Energy of Dallas, Texas, and her reserve champion swine for $5.75 a pound to Growmark FS.
There were 51 lambs in all, selling for $21,818.
Like Svonavec, Stahl realizes the value of working with livestock animals and being in 4-H and FFA.
“This is time not wasted,” she said. “When you spend the time with these animals, it always shows in the show ring.”
Evan Hillegass, 15, of Berlin, won grand champion market swine with his pig, Candy.
Hillegass is the son of Justin and Rebecca Hillegass and is a ninth grader at Shanksville-Stonycreek School District. He is a member of Brotherton Belles and Beaus. He sold his prized pig for $12 a pound to Bryner Show Pigs. There were 150 market swine in all, selling for $106,480.
The dairy basket, with many donated items, was the first order of business at the sale, going for $3,500 to Witmer Feed and Grain of Columbiana, Ohio, which has a branch office in Berlin, Somerset County.
During the sale, Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor, Scott Wagner, purchased several animals and donated them back to various organizations. Many other animals were donated to fire departments, churches and other organizations.
Money generated through the sale goes back into the youth scholarship fund for exhibitors who have participated in showing and selling and who are going on to college.
Bill Arnold, Nolan Bell, Mike Knepper and Kermit Stahl volunteered their time as auctioneers, and Roger Wahl, a local radio station owner, announced names.