WEST ALLIS (WITI) — Governor Scott Walker hosts the annual Governor’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction Wednesday night, August 6th at the Wisconsin State Fair and hosted the 23rd annual Governor’s Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction Tuesday night, raising record-setting funds that support youth in Wisconsin agriculture.
The proceeds of the livestock auction will be used to directly benefit the youth exhibitors through scholarships to assist with their continuing education. Fifteen scholarships will be awarded this year, totaling $12,000, and ranging from $500 to $2,000.
“My congratulations to all of the hard-working participants at this year’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction,” Governor Walker said. “These are the faces of Wisconsin’s agriculture future, and their dedication to these animals and the farming industry deserves recognition and commendation. Wisconsin’s State Fair is centered around our identity as America’s Dairyland and as the place to come for all things agricultural, which includes our thriving livestock and meat industry. And, while we celebrate our farming roots, we are also supporting our youth and future farmers.”
In order to participate and qualify for a scholarship, exhibitors must be between the ages of 17-19, be a current or past livestock exhibitor who has exhibited beef, sheep and/or swine at the Wisconsin State Fair, and be either enrolled in or have plans to enroll in a university, vocational/technical school, or university short course.
Last year’s livestock auction raised $239,750, compared to $220,900 in 2012, and the Grand Champion Steer last year sold for $30,000. From 1998 to 2013, more than $135,000 scholarships have been awarded to 150 Wisconsin youth allowing them to continue their education and pursue their career goals. In addition to awarding scholarships to youth exhibitors, grants are also given to Wisconsin youth programs such as Wisconsin Livestock Breeders Youth Development, Livestock Show Camp, Wisconsin State Fair Premier Exhibitor Awards, Wisconsin State Fair Reserve Champion Market Animal Awards, and Wisconsin State Fair Camp of Champions.
Governor Walker joined the Fairest of the Fair Kaitlyn Riley, and Alice in Dairyland Zoey Brooks in hosting the Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction last night, which directly benefits Wisconsin’s 4-H Foundation and the 350,000 4-H youth, through leadership development, programs, and scholarships. Organizers had hoped to raise $100,000 to commemorate the 100th year of 4-H; the event brought in more than $130,000. Last year’s auction raised $80,988.
The 23rd Annual Governor’s Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction is held in coordination with the Wisconsin State Fair Meat Products Contest held by the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors (WAMP), UW-Madison Animal Science Department, and the Wisconsin State Fair. Before the auction starts, meat processors from across the state will compete for awards that highlight excellent Wisconsin food products. More than 100 entries competed to become one of the top 20 entries to make up the auction slate for the 23rd Annual Governor’s Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction benefitting Wisconsin’s 4-H Foundation and youth.
The Wisconsin 4-H Foundation was established in 1954 in order to develop and promote 4-H programs throughout the state and to provide 4-H youth with training in group action, business methods, and civic responsibility. Today, the Foundation supports numerous development programs, helps fund attendance at national competitions and conferences, and grants college scholarships to support 4-H youth continuing on to post-high school education.