Farm Progress

Look around the Illinois State Fair

Slideshow: Here’s a look at the kids, livestock, fun and more at the 2018 Illinois State Fair.

Holly Spangler

August 17, 2018

22 Slides

The 2018 Illinois State Fair is rolling through its 11-day run in Springfield, where fairgoers have gathered to show livestock, celebrate agriculture and see old friends.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Illinois Department of Agriculture hosted the annual Ag Day breakfast on Aug. 14 in the Orr Building, where centennial and bicentennial farms were recognized from across Illinois. Rauner also announced he and his wife will donate $1 million to go toward restoring the Coliseum.

Rauner, reflecting on his roots in the ag community, said his desire is to restore the Coliseum in the same way his wife led the effort in restoring the Governor’s Mansion. Officials at the Capital Development Board say the additional funds will help fund heating and air conditioning in the Coliseum, which is slated to be open for the 2019 Illinois State Fair.

The annual Sale of Champions was again held in the Livestock Center. Champions for a variety of species and products were auctioned off, and exhibitors received a portion of their sales, plus scholarships from CME Group, Compeer Financial and the Illinois 4-H Foundation. The three organizations collectively donated $65,000 in scholarships; each of the 10 grand champion exhibitors received a $6,000 scholarship.

Here’s a quick look at sale results:

• champion rabbit market pen shown by Sam Pree, sold for $3,500 to George Obernagel, Glen Werry and Agrivest Farm Management

• champion poultry market pen shown by Grant Wilderman, sold for $4,000 to McDonald’s Group: Dave and Julie Embry, Paul and Mary Breznay, McGraw Enterprises, Davis Family

• champion meat goat wether shown by Chase Tomhave, sold for $11,300 (a record) to Springfield Plastics, Ed Teefey, The Sky Ride, Rex Evans, Kiefer Farms, Illinois Auctioneers Association and Farm Credit, Hummel Livestock, Syngenta Crop Protection and Prairieland FS, Prairie View Farms

• champion wether lamb shown by Bryce Clayton, sold for $8,500 to North American Midway Entertainment

• champion barrow shown by Ella Bobell, sold for $25,000 to CME Group

• champion steer shown by Adam Miller, sold for $60,000 to Gov. and Mrs. Bruce Rauner

IDOA changed the distribution of monies from the Sale of Champions last year and used the same formula this year. Here’s a look at how auction dollars are shared:

• 50% of the auction funds go to the grand champion junior exhibitor
• 15% goes to the reserve champion junior exhibitor
• 15% is divided evenly among the exhibitors of other breed champions
• 10% goes to the Illinois 4-H Foundation
• 10% goes to the Illinois FFA Foundation

Check out the slideshow for a look at kids, livestock and more at the 2018 Illinois State Fair.

About the Author(s)

Holly Spangler

Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Holly Spangler has covered Illinois agriculture for more than two decades, bringing meaningful production agriculture experience to the magazine’s coverage. She currently serves as editor of Prairie Farmer magazine and Executive Editor for Farm Progress, managing editorial staff at six magazines throughout the eastern Corn Belt. She began her career with Prairie Farmer just before graduating from the University of Illinois in agricultural communications.

An award-winning writer and photographer, Holly is past president of the American Agricultural Editors Association. In 2015, she became only the 10th U.S. agricultural journalist to earn the Writer of Merit designation and is a five-time winner of the top writing award for editorial opinion in U.S. agriculture. She was named an AAEA Master Writer in 2005. In 2011, Holly was one of 10 recipients worldwide to receive the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Ag Journalism award. She currently serves on the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, the U of I Agricultural Communications Advisory committee, and is an advisory board member for the U of I College of ACES Research Station at Monmouth. Her work in agricultural media has been recognized by the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn, Illinois Council on Agricultural Education and MidAmerica Croplife Association.

Holly and her husband, John, farm in western Illinois where they raise corn, soybeans and beef cattle on 2,500 acres. Their operation includes 125 head of commercial cows in a cow/calf operation. The family farm includes John’s parents and their three children.

Holly frequently speaks to a variety of groups and organizations, sharing the heart, soul and science of agriculture. She and her husband are active in state and local farm organizations. They serve with their local 4-H and FFA programs, their school district, and are active in their church's youth and music ministries.

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