Leavenworth County Fair 2001 continued
Animals for sale; Rocket launching; Toy tractor pull
Animals for sale
More than 160 farm animals were sold at last Friday's livestock auction at the Leavenworth County Fair.
"There were as many animals in the auction as there has ever been," said Beth Hecht of the K-State Research and Extension office of Leavenworth County. "This year pretty much falls in line with the past auctions."
In this 36th year of the auction, potential buyers were able to choose between purchasing cattle, sheep, pigs, rabbits and goats. Some buyers purchased a combination of animals.
Although judging the attendance for the event is difficult because spectators come and go, Hecht said the auction was well-attended.
Although the fair is supposed to be a fun time for county residents and the local 4-H clubs, Hecht said it isn't fun for the animals.
"Every animal that gets sold in the auction goes straight to the slaughterhouse," Hecht said.
Hecht said sale totals for the auction were still being calculated but rough estimates indicate that this year's auction broke fair records.
"This year's premium sales were right around $70,000," Hecht said. "We aren't sure about the total but I think we might have broke some records this year. It (the auction) was just strong as usual.
"We had a lot of loyal buyers and we had a lot of new buyers. It was just a good turnout."
As for the future of the auction Hecht said as long as the Leavenworth County fair is around, the auction will be as well.
"It teaches the kids how to raise high-quality animals and the amount of responsibility involved in doing that," Hecht said. "These kids that bring in the animals have to feed them, get them vaccinated, present them and market them. The bottom line is they learn what it takes to care for their animals."
Up and down
In Clinton Kissinger's mind, judging the rocket launching competition at the Leavenworth County Fair is easy and fun.
"When you launch them and you get to see them shoot up," Kissinger said. "It's just real fun to watch them go up that high."
Kissinger, 10, was one of several 4-H'ers involved in the Saturday rocket launching competition at this year's fair. The competition was scheduled for the previous morning, but was moved to Saturday because of rain, 4-H officials said.
4-H members, varying in skill level, launched more than a dozen rockets at the competition. Each year a 4-H member participates in the competition, their skill level goes up.
This is the second year Kissinger, a Tonganoxie resident, has been involved in the competition. At last year's contest, he won a purple ribbon for his rocket. He said he had high hopes for this year's rocket, Polaris.
"I hope it does well," Kissinger said. "They judge the rockets on all kinds of stuff like the paint job, the fins and how well it was put together."
In viewing some of the rockets launched before his, Kissinger was able to tell what went right or wrong.
"That one must have had a bent rod," Kissinger said, when viewing a rocket that took a crash landing. "Hopefully that won't happen to mine."
Kissinger's Polaris was the last rocket in line for the competition and as his launch grew closer, he was confident his model would do well.
"We put it way down at the end of the line because the wind is a little better down here," Kissinger said while explaining his position in the competition. "That way we won't have to chase it all over."
And finally with his launch, the model Polaris shot up to its estimated height with ease, opened its parachute and landed softly on the ground, with no damage to the rocket exterior, save one small knick on a fin.
"It went pretty good," Kissinger said. "Hopefully it'll do even better next year."
Pulling toward state
Leavenworth County will have eight representatives from its fair competing in the pedal tractor pull at the Kansas State Fair.
Pullers in four age groups competed in the pedal tractor pull on Saturday in the Livestock Show Arena with the top three in each division earning trophies and the top two advancing to the state fair in September. The event had 95 participants.
Leavenworth youths dominated the first-place finishes, with three of four winners coming from the county seat.
Drew Kennedy won the five-and-younger division in the 40-foot drag, having two full pulls. Jake Schwinn also had two full pulls and won the 6-and-7 division, as did Dane Gonser in the 8-and-9 division.
The lone non-Leavenworth winner was Ashlee Johnson in the 10-and-11 division. The Tonganoxie youth registered a full pull and a 39 1/2 for the win.
Second and third places in each division are as follows: five-and-younger 2, Kody Smart, Lawrence (32); 3, Tristan Sheer, Troy (27).
6-7division 2, Joe Lutz, Tonganoxie (FP, 41); 3, Gracie Perkins, Leavenworth (FP, 17.5).
8-9 division 2, Brian Janesko, Kansas City, Kansas, (FP, 36); 3, Bradley Spencer, McLouth (FP, 35.5).
10-11 division 2, Amy Theis, Leavenworth (FP, 36); 3, John Sachse (FP, 30.5).
Keith Olsen, Horton, provided the tractors and the pulls. A John Deere and a Ford toy tractor were used in the competition. Olsen usually does 30 pulls covering four states each year.
Olsen said he prefers a smooth surface such as asphalt or cement. The livestock arena has a dirt-type surface, and Hutchinson will have a grass surface.
"It's tougher because of the surface," Olsen said about Tonganoxie's pull. "But they'll be better prepared for Hutchinson.
Participants in the pull get one pull. If it is a full pull, the puller gets another chance with extra weight.
Lisa Scheller, news editor for The Mirror; Shawn Linenberger, reporter for The Mirror; and Joshua Roberts, reporter for the Basehor Sentinel contributed to this report on the 2001 Leavenworth County Fair.