Governor's Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction raises over $106K for 4-H youth

Gloria Hafemeister
Buyers, 4-Hers and Meat processors gathered for a photo after the sale of the grand champion meat in the snack sausage division from Eden Meat Market of Eden.  It sold to a consortium of Crave Brothers Cheese, Harry Hansen Meat Service, Gibbsville Implement, Wisconsin River Meats and Egg Innovations for $5,000.

WEST ALLIS – The Governor’s Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction at the Wisconsin State Fair celebrated its 30th year by raising more than $106,000.  Proceeds from the auction benefit the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, which supports Wisconsin 4-H activities including 4-H conferences, teaching materials and workshops, and overall development of 4-H youth.  

In the 30 years since the auction began over $2 million has been raised for the benefit of the youth.

Bidders return year after year and before the auction even started generous donors gave $30,000.

“Enthusiastic 4-H supporters made for an exciting evening,” said Wisconsin 4-H Foundation Executive Director Brenda Scheider. “Seeing our 4-H youth and adult volunteers working next to our generous donors really brings home what 4-H is all about.”

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Randy Romanski, DATCP Secretary, kicked off the sale by encouraging the audience to bid high and bid often. 

Hostess Nicole Barlass, Sheboygan Falls, and Auctioneer Bob Johnson, Milton, sold 28 Champion, Reserve Champion and Honorable Mention meat products.

A three-foot, Wisconsin-shaped summer sausage created by Kewaskum Foods of Kewaskum was purchased by Kewaskum Foods for $3,200 who then donated the sausage back and it was resold for $3,000 to Hartmann Sand and Gravel. Guest Auctioneer selling this specialty item was Ozaukee County 4-H member Maria Lee, who learned to call through a county 4-H program.

Maria Lee, left, an Ozaukee County 4-Her who learned to call bids through her involvement with 4-H solicited bids for the Wisconsin summer sausage from Kewaskum Foods during the 30th annual Governor’s Blue Ribbon Meat Products auction at the Wisconsin State Fair recently.

Meijer broke two records when they purchased the champion summer sausage created by Lodi Sausage Company and Meat Market of Lodi for $4,250 (former record was $3,600 set in 2018) and the champion beef jerky created by Eden Meat Market of Eden for $4,600 (former record was $4,500 set in 2018). The highest selling item was the first item sold – the champion bacon created by Louie’s Finer Meats of Cumberland that sold for $5,500 to Willow Road Self Storage of Lake Geneva.

At the conclusion of the event, Wisconsin State Fair Chairman of the Board John Yingling presented the 2022 Dennis Buege Best of Show Award to meat processor Eden Meat Market of Eden. Eden Meats earned the honor for its champion entry in the snack sausage division. It sold to a consortium of Crave Brothers Cheese, Harry Hansen Meat Service, Gibbsville Implement, Wisconsin River Meats and Egg Innovations for $5,000.

The auction is produced in partnership with the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, Wisconsin State Fair and the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors (WAMP).

Eden Meat Market won Best of Show for their snack sausage at the Governor's Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Grand Champion meat, blue ribbon bids

Bacon: Louie’s Finer Meats, Cumberland, buyer: Willow Road Self Storage, Lake Geneva, $5,500

Ring Bologna: Eden Meat Market, Eden, Buyer: Gibbsville Implement, Waldo, $3,500

Specialty Cured Meat Product: Wilson Farm Meats, Elkhorn: Buyer: Bill Thompson, Lake Geneva, $4,000.

Summer Sausage: Lodi Sausage Company and Meat Market, Lodi: Buyer: Meijer for $4,250* (*new record beats previous record of $3,600), donated back for resale to: Crave Brothers/Charlie Crave, Waterloo, for $2,000

Reconstructed Jerky: Eden Meat Market, Eden: Buyer: Meijer for $4,600* (new record beats previous record of $4,500), donated back for resale to Wisconsin Souvenir Milkcaps, Oconomowoc, $1,200.

Dried or Smoked Beef: Louie’s Finer Meats, Cumberland: Buyers: Major Goolsby’s and Ultimate Confections for $1,600.

Bone-in Ham:  Louie’s Finer Meats, Cumberland: Buyer: Wisconsin Souvenir Milkcaps, Oconomowoc, for $2,000, donated back for resale to Rural Mutual Insurance, for $2,500.

Bratwurst: Wilson Farm Meats, Elkhorn: Buyer: Merwin Farms, Lake Geneva, $3,600.

Snack Sausage: Eden Meat Market, Eden: Buyer: Egg Innovations/John & Cathy Brunnquell, Port Washington, $2,000.