7/27/2013 7:00 AM
By Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade Special Sections Editor
SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. — The auctioneer coaxes fairgoers for another bid. Shouts of “yep!” punctuate the noise Tuesday in the livestock barn at the Shippensburg Community Fair.
And among FFA members selling at the sale of champions, one was about to end her livestock career on a high note.
Abby Finkenbinder of Newville walked through the sale ring five times that evening. Each time, she smiled to show her appreciation to the buyers who purchased her animals.
But after the gavel dropped on the final bid for her reserve champion market swine, this Big Spring FFA member teared up with the realization that her years of 4-H and FFA livestock shows and sales were over.
She was able to hold it together for the final photo before the tears began to flow as she bid farewell to her youth showing career.
Finkenbinder was one of the many Cumberland County FFA members who sold livestock at the 34th annual Robert Finkenbinder Cumberland County FFA Market Livestock Sale. She is Robert Finkenbinder’s granddaughter.
She said she had hoped for a great year, but she did not expect to collect quite so many awards earlier in the week — champion steer, swine and goat, and reserve champion goat and swine.
“I can’t believe it’s over,” she said, starting to come to terms with the completion of her final FFA project. She started showing livestock at age 5, inspired by her brother Matt Souder.
Finkenbinder said that although her FFA career is over, she plans to help out — her sister Lynn is still showing in FFA — and possibly give back by assisting others with their projects.
A 2013 Penn State graduate with a degree in nursing, she lives on her parents’ farm and works on the ICU and cardiac floor at Holy Spirit Hospital in Harrisburg.
She said she loves her nursing career but hasn’t forgotten her roots in agriculture. Showing and selling livestock is a great life experience, she said, and she would encourage others to do the same.
“It’s just the experience. The friends you make. Putting in the time and seeing it all pay off,” she said.
She’s been planning for this year’s sale since last year, buying her market steer and swine from club sales, and selecting her goats from her herd on the farm.
Various buyers submitted winning bids for Finkbinder’s animals.
Her 1,270-pound grand champion market steer fetched $2,900 from Hoss’s Steak and Sea House. Her champion market hog, weighing in at 266 pounds, was sold to the conglomerate of John and Stacy Rumberger, Josh Stitt, Carter Lumber, Loysville Structures, Osborn Renovation, and Glenn and Cindy Finkenbinder for $1,300. And her 81-pound grand champion market goat was sold to F&M Trust for $600.
Finkbinder’s 228-pound reserve champion market hog was sold to Wayne Craig and Sons for $825, and her 80-pound reserve champion market goat was sold for $800 to Keith’s Farm Supply, which earned a Blue and Gold award for purchasing livestock at the fair for 25 years.
In all, there were 88 animals in the overall show, 33 of them goats, averaging $789 per animal for a sales total of $66,824.
Bidding was generally brisk at the sale of champions with prices above market value.
The 133-pound champion market lamb, owned by Makaela Koser, was sold for $800 to Huntsdale Stock Farms. Koser also sold the 129-pound reserve champion market lamb for $820 to Rich and Kim Morgan, and Newville Print Shop.
The 550-pound champion feeder calf, owned by Christine Helm, sold for $950 to Greencastle Livestock Market.
Mark Shughart’s 634-pound reserve champion feeder calf sold for $1,090 to McCullough Acres.
Ruby Monn’s 1,370-pound reserve champion market steer sold for $2,575 to Timmons Farm and Timmons Oil.