LIMA — Lucky, all 1,325 pounds of him, took center stage at the Allen County Fair Livestock Auction Friday.
Cameras flashed around him as his tiny farmer, 11-year-old Caden Jones, took the lead.
Lucky’s highest bidder included S&S Volvo, Ohio CAT, Murphy Tractor, Spalinger Millwright, the Duff family, Ohio Ready Mix, Mr. Concrete, Duff Stone, Stolly Insurance, Creek Bottom Farms, Egbert Livestock, Whitney Sand Blastry, Union Bank, Heritage Coop, First Federal Bank, First Financial Bank, Ron Spencer Real Estate, Lima Auto Mall, Winegardner Petroleum, and RD Jones, who shelled out $18,000 collectively.
After numerous photos, Caden took a moment to explain he’s in his second year of 4-H and has already fallen in love with the dedication and responsibility it takes to raise an animal, let alone the Grand Champion.
The name Lucky came to Jones when the steer took third place at the Ohio State Fair earlier this summer. The name has stuck.
“He’s just so easy to cooperate with,” Jones said of his steer. “It’ll be pretty depressing,” he said of life without Lucky, “but after I get the money I’m going to go buy a new (steer) and make good memories, just like I did with Lucky.”
As for his winnings, Jones said he will be putting some money away for his college education.
Learning appreciation and pride in your work is the main thing Jones has taken away from participating in the 4-H program. He said once you have learned to do what makes you happy, it doesn’t matter what other people do.
“You just follow in your footsteps and not theirs,” he said.
Raising livestock that win Grand Champion is a new accomplishment for Jones. Last year, he earned Reserve Champion. Behind Jones in line for the title of Reserve Champion is his sister, Addison Jones. Reserve Grand Champion steer, owned by Addison, sold for $14,000.
“It’s very fun because when you win against her and you beat her, then you can brag at home,” he said.
Other animals were also sold Friday at auction. Abby Garver won Grand Champion Market Hog and sold it for $7,300. Madison Zizelman won Reserve Champion Market Hog and earned $3,500. Grand Champion lamb, owned by Sierra Harris, sold for $4,500. Reserve Champion lamb was owned by Griffen Croft and sold for $2,000. The gallon of milk, contributed by all dairy cows, sold for $4,500.
Top market livestock will be processed and entered into the carcass show at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Keystone Meats, 3585 Harding Highway, Lima. Other awards will be given then.