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Press Release - Tuesday, August 16, 2022

First Lady Outbids Governor to Take Home Champion Steer

SPRINGFIELD, IL - Being in the Governor's Sale of Champions is something all livestock exhibitors dream about, but few are able to accomplish. Each year, this marquee event of the Illinois State Fair Ag Day festivities showcases the hard work and dedication of the youth in the agriculture industry.

For the third year, Governor JB Pritzker ended up in a bidding war for the Grand Champion Steer with none other than his wife, First Lady MK Pritzker. He drove up the price, but it was the First Lady who took home the Grand Champion Steer with a bid of $105,000, tying the record she set in 2021.

In addition to being spotlighted before the crowd on Tuesday night, these Grand Champion exhibitors, along with the Reserve Grand Champion exhibitors, will receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their animal. The exhibitors use the funds towards their college education or invest it back into projects for next year.

"These exhibitors are the future of agriculture in our state and represent the best of the best," said Jerry Costello II, Director, Illinois Department of Agriculture. "The Sale of Champions is the cherry on top of the Illinois State Fair. To see our youth in agriculture rewarded for the work that they put into these animals is my favorite aspect of the Illinois State Fair."

CME Group also realizes the importance of education, which is why they have donated $50,000 in scholarships to this year's Sale of Champions and for last decade.

Below are the results of the 2022 Commodity Auction and the 2022 Sale of Champions. It should be noted that the Grand Champion Steer will be donated to the Central Illinois Foodbank.






Champion Chihuahua Cheese

V&V Supreme

Chicago, IL

Marty and Donna Davis- McDonalds


Champion Medium White Cheddar Cheese

Foremost Farms Inc.

Marshfield, WI

IL State Auctioneer Past Champion and Friends


Champion Cotija Cheese

Nuestro Queso, LLC

Chicago, IL

U of I College of Aces


Champion Vanilla Yogurt

Deerland Dairy

Freeport, IL

Marty and Donna Davis- McDonalds


Champion Banana-Licious Chocolate Ice Cream

Oberweis Dairy

North Aurora, IL

Marty and Donna Davis- McDonalds


Champion Bacon

Leiding's Meats & Catering

Danville, IL

Cindy Cagwin-Johnston


Champion Bone-In Ham

Eickman's Processing Co. Inc.

Seward, IL

Area Mechanical


Champion Beef Jerky

Korte Meat Processing

Highland, IL

George Obernagel and Jo Hampton


Champion Snack Sticks

Turasky Meats

Springfield, IL

U of I College of Aces


Champion Cooked Bratwurst

Korte Meat Processing

Highland, IL

Illinois Association of Meat Processors


Best of Show Wine

Blue Sky Vineyard

Makanda, IL

Rebecca Clark and Kristi Jones


Grand Champion Honey

Joyce and Mike Dullenty

Springfield, IL

Wayne Rosenthal


Best in Show Dairy Goat's Milk

Lillian Lee

Glenarm, IL

Marty and Donna Davis- McDonalds







Grand Champion Rabbit Market Pen

Chesney Thorton


Robert Nelson/AgriVest Farm Management, George Obernagel and Darren Bailey for Governor


New Record


Overall Breeding Poultry Champions

Natalie Palmquist,

Austin Ater

Luke & Jesgarz


Marty and Donna Davis- McDonalds


Land of Lincoln Supreme Champion Dairy Cow Print

Kamber Kilgus


Midwest Dairy, St. Louis Dairy Council & Friends of Kamber Kilgus


New Record

Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Meat Goat

Maddox Horner


Jeff Ellerbrock/AgriGold,

Hummel Family - Dale & Holly, Rich Kiefer/Kiefer Farms, Brian, Rinderer/AgriGold, Skyride



Grand Champion Meat Goat

Nolan Hoge


George Obernagel, Rich DeSchepper & Eric, Faugust/Syngenta , Ed Teefey/Farmer State Bank


Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Market Lamb

Nalaney Guyer


Pivot Bio and Springfield Plastics


Grand Champion Market Lamb

Carter Hoge


North American Midway Entertainment


Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Barrow

Ella Bobell


Bayer Crop Science


Grand Champion Barrow

Drake Fletcher


CME Group


Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Steer

Cole Caldwell




Grand Champion Steer

Ashtin Guyer


MK Pritzker


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