FREE SPEECH ZONE | Annual Purple Ribbon Auction draws crowd


Quality animals, quality kids, and quality buyers made the 31st Purple Ribbon Auction. The annual parade of champion beef, lambs, goats and swine set five new record prices and tied one. The auction raised more than $316,000 in additional premium dollars from 90 head for Minnesota 4-H youth and programs.

The Champion Market Beef Steer was a middleweight crossbred steer shown by Kailey Davis of Freeborn County.  Ames Construction of Burnsville once again had the successful bid of $14,600 for a new Minnesota record price.  The Reserve Champion was a lightweight steer owned by Allison Hawkins of Dakota County which also set a record with the final bid from a group of long-time buyers including the Minnesota State Fair Concessionaires, Anchor Bank and the Dakota County Purple Ribbon Club for $9,600.

Longtime South St. Paul supporters Central Livestock/CRI, O&S Cattle Company, American Foods Group and AgStar placed the successful bid of $7,000 for this year’s Grand Champion Dairy Steer exhibited by Malory Mattson of Freeborn County. The Reserve Champion Dairy Steer shown by Adam Prigge of Winona County set a record price of $6,300 when all was said and done for a purchasing group made up of Minnesota State Fair Concessionaires and the Winona County Purple Ribbon Club.

This year’s middle-weight crossbred barrow was named Grand Champion Market Swine for Spencer Kral of Freeborn County as it sold for $7,000 to a group of supporters lead by Hormel Foods, Boeringer Ingelheim, AgStar, Kral Auction Co., and friends.  The Reserve Champion Barrow was a light-weight crossbred shown by Nolan Hohenstein of Jackson County was purchased for $4,500 by the partnership of Pioneer Hi-Bred Seeds, Elanco, Wiechmann Pig Co., Form-A-Feed and the Jackson County Purple Ribbon Club.  The Champion Market Gilt brought a price of $4,600 for Taylor Scholze of Houston County when the Monsanto, Rain & Hail, Holden Farms and the Houston County Purple Ribbon Club joined forces. The Reserve Champion Market Gilt exhibited by Jacob Ihnen of Jackson County brought ADM Alliance Nutrition, New Fashion Pork, American Foods Group, Spokely Brothers, Anderson Seeds, Ivesco, Ralco, Extended Ag and AgStar together as they partnered with the final $4,500 bid.

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The Grand Champion Market Lamb was a middleweight shown by Morgan Sobotta of Olmsted County. She tied the record price of $5,500 from new buyer SAFRAN-Cenco International, AgStar, Wanda State Bank, Diamond D Ranch, Hindman Show Lambs and Drewry Club Lambs.  The Reserve Champion Market Lamb was from the heavy-weight division and brought $3,250 when the Minnesota State Fair Concessionaires and Long Cheng Hmong Meats again joined forces.   

The Purple Ribbon Auction welcomed Walmart as a return buyer as they helped set two new record bids on the purchase of both champion goats. Nathan Schulz of Jackson County exhibited the Grand Champion Meat Goat and it sold for $4,600 Walmart, Fred & Phyllis Groth and Steinhoff-Muller. The Grand Champion Dairy Meat Goat was exhibited for the second year by Paige Johnson of Fillmore County and sold for $2,900 to a group including Walmart, the Minnesota Dairy Goat Association, Fillmore County Purple Ribbon Club and the Rushford Business Association.

            Proceeds from the Purple Ribbon Livestock Auction go to the winning 4-H youth and 20% of the funds are designated to further Minnesota 4-H, the Minnesota 4-H Foundation and the Auction Scholarships. Eighteen 4-H Livestock Auction Scholarships were awarded this year from the premiums received last year and matching dollars thanks to the generous support of AgStar Home Mortgage,  LA-CO Industries, John Morrell & Co., SMSC Business Council, Corn Roast – Brad and Lori Ribar, Minnesota Corn Growers, SAFRAN-Cenco International, Minnesota Simmental Association, Walmart and Interstate Power Systems and individual supporters Richard and Bonnie Compart, Kent Thiesse and Greg Harder.

            The Minnesota Purple Ribbon Auction is sponsored by the Minnesota Livestock Breeders Association each year.