Fifty years ago, it started with a dream to support the Ohio State Fair’s youth livestock exhibitors. Gov. Jim Rhodes was the mastermind behind the event that would help build the legacy of Ohio livestock exhibition on a national and international stage — the Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions. Rhodes recognized the hard work, long hours and vast leadership potential of the top livestock exhibitors at the Ohio State Fair and he wanted everyone else to do the same. He also wanted to establish a way to help those young exhibitors benefit from their incredible achievements financially. With these goals in mind, Rhodes teamed up with the Ohio Expositions Commission and well-known auctioneer Merlin Woodruff. The first Sale of Champions in 1968 was designed to provide a one-stop event to showcase the fair’s top youth livestock exhibitors, provide an attraction to promote agriculture and attract the interest of buyers who could afford the type of funding required to reward excellence. This tradition continues today!