Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest When the Ohio State Fair recently put out the list of exhibitors from every Sale of Champions since the first one in 1968, I really enjoyed taking a few moments to read through the list. Johnny Regula, auctioneer for the Sale, did too.“I have always felt the SOC is Ohio production agriculture’s chance to showcase our products — our boys and girls and our livestock. You take the list and look at the names of these exhibitors from the beginning and look now at what they are doing in agriculture, they are all leaders. That is what this program does,” Regula said. “You see these little dynasties. Here recently one of those might be the Banbury family. Going back you had the Westlake family do the same thing. In cattle you had the Shane family and in hogs you had the Islers and the Jacksons and then you had Rusty Coe. It is really hard to do that.”Randy Shane had the 1974 grand champion steer. Photo courtesy of the Ohio State Fair.Ohio State Fair General Manager Virgil Strickler has really enjoyed getting to know some of these exhibitors through the years as well.“I’ll never forget the heart-to-hearts I’ve had with exhibitors and their families, and the lifelong friendships I’ve made,” Strickler said. “I remember my very first year as Agriculture Director in 1993 talking with the Banbury family about the excitement of being a part of this great fair.”The later-in-life success of former SOC exhibitors goes to show that the founding efforts of Gov. Jim Rhodes to start the first Sale of Champions in 1968 were a right- on-target investment in the future.“It is great to see how the kids showing livestock have evolved and gone on to succeed in other segments of the industry,” said Mike Bumgarner, CEO of United Producers, Inc., who had the grand champion steer at the 1975 Sale of Champions. “The show ring is just a small segment of the industry, but it is a big stepping-stone.”Buyers at the Sale continue to step up their bidding efforts, and the appeal of those hard working exhibitors keeps the buyers coming back.“It used to be that the buyers were after a certain animal — they wanted the hog or the steer. Now, much like the county fairs, it depends a lot on the individual and their family,” Regula said. “That is why certain animals bring what they do because of who the exhibitors are.”A big part of the livestock auction business is getting to know the exhibitors and their families, which is something Regula has really enjoyed through the years.“I have had relationships with a lot of these families for many years,” Regula said. “What is fun for me is that now some of the people I sold for are grandparents and I am selling for their grandkids — that makes it special.”The highlight of the 50th Sale of Champions will be the same as it was in the first Sale of Champions: the exhibitors.“In this day and age of fast moving things and social media, it is a blessing that we are still doing this 50 years later. The reason is still the same. In 1968, Gov. Rhodes wanted to help the boys and girls that won and provide them with some type of a scholarship and this was the best way to do it. He called auctioneer Merlin Woodruff and Merlin jumped on board and it has been going on ever since. Merlin’s relationship with the Governor was special. Gov. Rhodes was such a promoter that all Merlin had to do was sell them. He pretty much knew who was going to buy them before the Sale. That is not the case now,” Regula said. “Every year I walk into this Sale of Champions and I know who is going to play, but I don’t know who is going to buy and what the animals will bring. What you see happening is happening. It is real. And now we are seeing, more often, multiple buyers going together to buy animals where in the past it was just Bob Evans or just Wendy’s. I have no idea what it is going to bring. It is a real auction and it is very important to these boys and girls. It is no different than if you have an outstanding athlete. This is our way of providing scholarships for the best of the best.”Be sure to attend the the 50th Sale of Champions on Aug. 6 at 2 p.m. at the Ohio State Fair.The 1980 grand champion pen of meat chickens was exhibited by Martha Stock of Canton and purchased by Bob Evans Farms, Inc. for $8,080. Photo courtesy of the Ohio State Fair.
Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said students studying in universities who wished to complete Afzal Guru’s “incomplete job” of blasting Parliament should be ashamed of themselves. He was addressing students at the convocation ceremony of Shri Vaishnav Vidyapeeth Vishwavidyalaya here.“Out of the 920 universities in the country, few are in the news for the wrong reasons. People there say — Afzal Guru aapne jo kaam adhura choda hai, hum usse poora karenge(Afzal Guru, we’ll complete the job you left incomplete). They should be ashamed of themselves. Guru tried to blast Parliament. Even I was there, but nothing happened to us,” he said.Although several private institutions had contributed to the sector, he said, higher education in the country still faced the challenges of access, equity, affordability and equality.“There was a time we gave knowledge to the world and now we do not figure even in the top 100 universities of the world,” he said. “Educational institutions should focus only on academic excellence. Then physical fitness, mental alertness and social consciousness. Students should not get into other things and controversies.”Stating that although everyone had the freedom to eat whatever they wanted, some people made an issue out of it, and added, “But then there are those who celebrate beef festival and anti-beef festival.”‘Why create tension?’“In some areas, they even celebrate kissing festival. It’s a different matter if it’s consensual between two people. But by celebrating it as a festival, why create tension in society? Therefore, I advise students to focus on education and raise its standards,” he said. Exhorting students to be physically fit, he said he played badminton, went for a walk and practised yoga every day. Yoga benefits “The Prime Minister was kind enough to promote yoga across 172 countries, where they have even opened institutes for it. But in our country, we doubt it. One child asked me once about the benefits of yoga. I told him — if you do yoga, you’ll be yogya (able).”“One child had an issue with doing Surya Namaskar, so I told him, do Chandra Namaskar instead,” he said. “Yoga is not political. It is not because of Modi, it is for your body.”As for welfare measures of the government, he said, “Programmes like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhaoshouldn’t just be reduced to government schemes. They should be made into people’s movements.” Mr. Naidu called upon students to follow the diet prescribed by their forefathers.
Indian tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathi failed to notch up his third Wimbledon mixed doubles title as he and his partner Elena Vesnina were outplayed by Jurgen Melzer and Iveta Benesova in straight sets in the final here on Sunday.The fourth seeded Indo-Russian pair lost 3-6, 2-6 to their ninth seeded opponents in a 51-minute summit clash at the center court.Austrian Melzer and Czech Republic’s Benesova, who have not lost a single set on their way to the title, were the dominant pair for most part of the final match with better serve and returns.Bhupathi and Vesnina found their opponents’ serve too hot to handle most of the time as the Austrian-Czech duo had as many as seven aces to the Indo-Russian duo’s two — with Melzer serving at lightning pace without reply on many occasions.Bhupathi and Vesnina were broken serve in the fourth game as Melzer and Benesova raced to 4-1 lead before winning the first set 6-3 in 24 minutes.In the second set, Bhupathi and Vesnina were broken in the third and seventh games to lose it in 27 minutes and surrender the match.With the loss today, Bhupathi failed to equal his once estranged doubles partner Leander Paes’ 12 Grand Slam titles as he remained on 11 Major crowns — seven in mixed doubles and four in men’s doubles.Bhuapthi has not won a Grand Slam title since clinching the 2009 Australian Open mixed doubles trophy along with compatriot Sania Mirza. All of Bhuapthi’s mixed doubles titles have come with different partners.advertisementPaes has won six men’s doubles and as many mixed doubles titles.- With inputs from PTI