Auctions for the benefit of youth will again be featured at the Wisconsin State Fair.
The first takes place on Tuesday, Aug. 5, and will feature the champion meat products selected in an earlier completion. The contest's top 20 items will be auctioned to the highest bidder with proceeds from the auction going to the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation.
The special event takes place in a new location this year, the Case IH Coliseum, and is hosted by the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation. Proceeds benefit the more than 350,000 Wisconsin 4-H youth. Buyer registration and dinner begins at 5 p.m. with the auction bidding beginning at 6:30 p.m.
With a "Best of Show" yet to be named at the auction, eight individuals have already earned championship honors in the 2014 Wisconsin State Fair Meat Products Contest. More than 100 entries competed for these top honors. The contest, held in association with the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors, recognizes quality meat processing while promoting superior Wisconsin food products.
Championship ribbons were presented to hickory-smoked pepper bacon entered by Mike Clark of Lodi Sausage and Meat Market, Lodi, which received recognition for best flavored bacon. Champion bone-in ham went to Tim Haen, Haen Meat Packing Inc, Kaukauna, for a hickory-smoked ham. This the second consecutive year Haen Meat Packing has received the champion ham. The champion dried and smoked beef also was awarded to Tim Haen, Haen Meat Packing Inc., for a smoked beef.
Brad Van Hemelryk, Maplewood Meats of Green Bay, received top honors in the summer sausage category. In the flavored snack sausages category, Louis Muench of Louie's Finer Meats Inc., Cumberland, took home champion honors. Both the best cooked bratwurst and cured specialty meat went to Andrew Pearson, Sixth Street Market in Ashland. Jake Sailer, Sailer's Food Market & Meat Processing, Elmwood, received recognition for best whole jerky.
"The Governor's Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction is a signature event for 4-H youth and the state of Wisconsin by recognizing the quality meat processing taking place across the Badger state, while raising funds to support future leaders," said Valerie Johnson, Wisconsin 4-H Foundation president. "This year we are excited to hold this event in the Case IH coliseum, welcoming more attendees and showcasing the event to the public."
Tickets are available and include appetizers and a silent auction. The $30 ticket includes admission to the event, hors d'oeuvres and beverages. For more information, contact the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation at 608-262-1597 or register online at www.Wis4HFoundation.org. Ticket reservations are requested by July 26.
The auction is a partnership of the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors (WAMP), University of Wisconsin Extension and Wisconsin State Fair.
The second auction features the award-winning livestock shown by youth at the Wisconsin State Fair.
The 46th Annual Governor's Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction takes place on Wednesday, Aug. 6. The auction gives buyers an opportunity to purchase award-winning beef, swine and lambs; a portion of the proceeds funds scholarships for youth in agriculture and grants for youth agriculture programs.
"The exceptional young people who work so hard to raise and show their animals at the Wisconsin State Fair are the future of our agriculture industry in Wisconsin," said Gov. Scott Walker during a promotional event in Milwaukee this summer. "The Governor's Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction is a fun and festive event allowing us to support their interests and help them build a future in farming, which is an integral part of Wisconsin's economy."
The 2013 Governor's Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction continued an upward trend, bringing in $239,750. The Grand Champion Steer, raised by Dan Spoerlein, sold for $30,000. Last year, 26 junior market steers, barrows and lambs were auctioned. Additionally, four VIP packages including signed, framed and autographed Milwaukee Brewers and Green Bay Packers prints were sold.
The Blue Ribbon Sale of Champions Foundation is increasing its scholarship awards to $12,000 this year, including one $2,000 scholarship, one $1,500 scholarship, four $1,000 scholarships and nine $500 scholarships. These 15 scholarships help offset the educational fees of young Wisconsin State Fair Junior Livestock exhibitors, who have shown exceptional dedication and achievements in agriculture. From 1998 to 2013, more than $135,000 has been awarded to nearly 150 Wisconsin youth, enabling them to continue their education and pursue their career goals.
Grants are also given to Wisconsin youth programs, including Wisconsin Livestock Breeders Youth Development, Livestock Show Camp, Wisconsin State Fair Premier Exhibitor Awards, Wisconsin State Fair Reserve Champion Market Animal Awards and Wisconsin State Fair Camp of Champions. The Governor's Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction has been supporting students for more than 45 years.
A final auction at Wisconsin State Fair will take place Friday, Aug. 8, and feature the cheese award entries in the earlier competition at the fair.
The Blue Ribbon Cheese and Butter Auction will be held in Saz's Hospitality Village where guests will be treated to a sampling of the blue-ribbon entries from the Wisconsin State Fair Cheese and Butter Contest as well as a Saz's appetizer buffet.
The auction is a fundraising tool for the Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Promotion Board. Auction proceeds fund the Wisconsin State Fair milking demonstrations, as well as updates to the House of Moo, a hands-on dairy education center located in the dairy barn.
In addition to supporting the board's dairy promotions, money raised at the auction also funds scholarships for students pursuing dairy-related degrees. This year's scholarship recipients include Kristin Broege, Janesville; Bethany Dado, Amery; Jenessa Freidhof, Owen; Kate Griswold, Black Earth; Sara Griswold, Black Earth; Abigail Martin, Janesville; Allison Quick, Oconomowoc; and Miranda Thesing-Ritter, Eau Claire.
To learn more about that auction, contact Katy Katzman, Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Promotion Board coordinator, at 262-903-6727.