The 2015 Ohio Spring Dairy Expo wrapped up three days of shows, sales, and overall industry activities on Saturday at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus.
One of the more notable events at this year’s Expo was the sale of a Jersey female at the much-anticipated Best of Triple-T and Heath Sale Thursday night. Payneside Mac N Cheese from Nathan and Jenny Thomas, Michael Heath, and Dymentholm Genetics went to Arethusa Farm for $267,000, a new record for highest selling Jersey at public auction.
The Expo was also highlighted by the amount of showmen in attendance — a point helped out by the weather said Angi Kaverman, chairman of the Spring Dairy Expo.
“We have had approximately 500 head of cattle shown and an additional 200 head of cattle in our public sales,” she said. “I would say our biggest success has been the weather really cooperating which has made for successful shows, sales, and cooperation from the exhibitors.
“We had two tremendous shows Thursday night with the Red and White and Guernsey shows. Friday morning we kicked off with a donut breakfast sponsored by Eby Trailers. Concluded the day with shows and a few more sales of the colored breeds. Friday evening was our highlight as we had 128 kids participate in showmanship this year.”
The American Dairy Association Mideast was the sponsor of showmanship. Each participant received $20 for taking part in the show. Kaverman noted the generosity of ADA as just one example of the ongoing support for the event.
“One of the highlights of our event is how supportive people are to our youth events and I think that’s what really drives the families to keep coming back,” Kaverman said. “We’ve been very fortunate to get lots of exhibitors from out of state to come and support these shows. They’re allowed to participate in all the events — also it’s not just localized to the state of Ohio and it’s actually considered a national show for a lot of our breeds. So they’re starting off their show season here to continue through the rest of the year and wrap up next fall in Madison, Wisconsin or Louisville, Kentucky for those ending national shows. It really is a kickoff and a huge push to the industry.”
The following are results from showmanship:
8 and 9 year olds – 1. Kelly Hawvermale, 2. Ava Budny
10 year olds – 1. Olivia Finke, 2. Grace Gunkelman
11 year olds – 1. Madelyn Topp, 2. Samuel Barlow
12 year olds – 1. Tim Gunkelman, 2. Anneli Shaw
13 year olds – 1. Garret Hageman, 2. Kinley Topp
14 year olds – 1. Mason Mazzaro, 2. Grace Hageman
15 year olds – 1. Keaton Topp, 2. Jayden Isiminger
16 year olds – 1. Brennan Topp, 2. Eliza Days
17 and older – 1. Tanner Topp, 2. Popsie Houck
Overall Junior – Olivia Finke
Overall Intermediate – Mason Mazzaro
Overall Senior – Tanner Topp
On Friday night there was a benefit dinner sponsored by ADA. Saturday saw the 4-H judging contest along with the Holstein show and Supreme Champion classes. The overall results are as follows:
Supreme Jr. Champion – Jr. Show – DKG Motion Butter Milk shown by Meredith Hageman from Sidney
Supreme Sr. Champion – Jr. Show – Budjon-JK Sip Elyssa-ET shown by Parker Hardy from Tipton, MI
Supreme Jr. Champion – Open Show – Sco-Lo-Coons Sid Aria-ET shown by Doeberiener, Bowen, Heath of West Salem
Supreme Sr. Champion – Open Show – Budjon-JK Sip Elyssa-ET shown by Parker Hardy from Tipton, MI
“I think the number one factor and passion for me is the youth involvement, bringing people together for the common interest of the dairy industry, and regardless of what breed of cow you’re interested in, it’s still the respect of the industry and the support of the production milk and agriculture,” Kaverman said.
Few understand the amount of work put into the Expo better than its workers who spent countless hours making sure the shows and sales ran smoothly.
As many were home eagerly watching the Final Four of NCAA Men’s Basketball Saturday evening, the volunteers of the Spring Expo were likely recovering from the non-stop activity of the Spring Dairy shows and sales. Students from the Buckeye Dairy Club are a large part of the Expo’s ongoing success. Erin Williams is the organization’s president.
“The Buckeye Dairy Club hosts the Buckeye Classic sales. This year we had Jersey, Ayrshire, Milking Shorthorn, and Guernsey sales. We’ve been doing it as long as I can remember — 25 plus years probably,” Williams said. “The whole club has been out here. Everyone has worked nine-hour shifts and many have been out here more. Literally 24/7 we’ve been here taking care of these cattle making sure they look good for the consignors and for the buyers.
“It’s been a really successful week and I’m very proud of our club.”
Williams says as someone involved in the Ohio dairy industry, it’s become something of tradition for her to return year after year.
“So I actually grew up with dairy cattle and have been to the Spring Dairy Expo as long as I could walk,” she said. “As far as my involvement with the Buckeye Classic Sales, I was the chair of the sales so we worked hard to get the consignments from the breeders and then taking care of them all week long.
“I’m definitely looking forward to next year being even bigger and better than this year,” Williams said.
Last year was a year of strong milk prices, but Expo Chair Angi Kaverman says the strong support of the Expo continues regardless of the market.
“Milk prices always do seem to drive and continue the conversation of the economy,” she said. “Yes, prices have been strong but numbers always seem to hold because it seems like dairy people do it 365 days a year, 24/7. We do it because we love it and not just because the price is keeping us there. Price is a factor but it truly is a love, a hobby, and an industry.”