A Fair tradition since 1968, the Sale of Champions has honored 422 youth champions and raised a total of $6,437,229 from livestock sales. Since 1995, $3,096,300 has been collected for the Youth Reserve Program, which funds scholarships, the outstanding market exhibitor program, outstanding breeding exhibitor program, showmanship, skillathons, 4-H and FFA.
In honor of the 50th Anniversary celebration, past Sale of Champions winners have been invited to join General Manager Virgil Strickler as guests of honor at the sale.
Patrick Nolan of Wakeman will be among those honored at the sale. For Nolan, participating in the Sale of Champions runs in the family. His uncle, Dan Eversole, was in the very first Sale of Champions in 1968 followed by his aunt, Joy Eversole McCarthy, in 1971.
“The Ohio State Fair has always been a family event,” said Nolan.
Nolan was first introduced to the Ohio State Fair when his father, Mike Nolan, was a dairy farmer and would exhibit at the fair well before Patrick could pick up a curry comb.
Patrick, his sister, Mikal, and cousins Rory, Darcy and Kara McCarthy have had a total of 12 grand/reserve champion pens of market chickens. In 2001, Patrick and his cousin Kara were in the sale as grand and reserve champions together.
In 2002, Patrick’s grandfather, Denslow Eversole, was inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame as he had exhibited cattle at the Fair for 65 years.
“I was lucky enough to show with him for the last of his four years,” said Patrick.
To add to the family tradition, Patrick and his sister Mikal both served, at different times, as State Junior Fair board members for two years representing the FFA.
“Being a member on the Junior Fair Board gave me the chance to see the fair through different lenses. All of these experiences have provided a lifetime of memories…” said Patrick.
The monetary aspect of the Sale also helped Patrick attend college where he became active in the Poultry Science Club, participated on the Ohio State University poultry judging team and conducted the Poultry CDE contest for the Ohio FFA for two years.
“The exposure the sale provides to youth is an excellent learning tool for public speaking. Whether it was being interviewed by Ed Johnson or talking with fairgoers at the champion's tent, you were essentially an ambassador for agriculture,” stated Patrick.
Grand Champions and Reserve Grand Champions from 1968 to 2016 will join in celebration at the 50th Anniversary of the Sale of Champions on Aug. 6 at 2 pm as the new 2017 winners are announced. The event is free to all fairgoers.
The 2017 Ohio State Fair will run July 26 to Aug. 6.