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Friendly state fair bidding war between governor, first lady

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2019

* Capitol News Illinois

In a classic duel of Pritzker vs. Pritzker, the first lady won.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and First Lady M.K. Pritzker engaged in a bidding war at the Illinois State Fair on Tuesday, with the governor’s wife placing the winning bid of $75,000 for a grand champion steer named Lucius.

“I have to say, there’s not a piece of that steer that doesn’t entice me,” the governor quipped with reporters after the sale. He later explained that much of the meat would be donated to the Central Illinois Food Bank.

Lucius, a 1,300-pound steer, was the prize animal of 13-year-old Cole Caldwell, of Elmwood. He had told fair officials earlier that whatever money he made from the sale would go toward his college education and future livestock projects. Still, he said afterwards, he was pleasantly surprised at how much Lucius fetched.

“I was surprised,” he said after the sale. “It’s a little bit of bragging rights for me. My sister won three years ago, and hers sold for less than mine did.”

* Tribune..

“I thought I had this thing. I thought I had it cold,” Pritzker said of the annual livestock auction at the Illinois State Fair that benefits 4-H clubs and the Future Farmers of America.

Pritzker joked to reporters after the auction that the steer, which weighs in at around 1,340 pounds, could live on the front lawn of the Governor’s Mansion. Either that or “we’re going to get cuts of meat like you wouldn’t believe.” […]

[Cole Caldwell] admitted he’ll miss Lucius.

“I think I got just a little bit too attached, but that’s just how it goes,” he said. “I love him very much.”

I also became too attached to a steer many years ago when I was in 4-H. They’re almost like pets because you spend so much time feeding them, cleaning up after them, grooming them, training them to be led and to stand just right during the shows. I cried for days one year because I knew I had to sell my steer for slaughter.

* SJ-R

The 13-year-old eighth-grader gets half of the $75,000, with 10 percent going to the 4H and FFA, and 15 percent going to the reserve grand champion steer and 25 percent going to all the other breed champions.

The win, said Cole, came through “a lot of hard work and spending a lot of time with my steer.” […]

Cole Caldwell said at first he didn’t realize the first lady and Governor were bidding against each other.

“That was very, very cool,” he said.

Some video is here.

* Related…

* Illinois State Fair sets record for grandstand revenue: Just five days into festivities, the Illinois State Fair has set a record for grandstand revenue.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

13 Comments
  1. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 9:18 am:

    “My sister won three years ago, and hers sold for less than mine did.”

    Olivia Caldwell’s grand champion steer, Snuggles, was purchased by Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2017 for $50,000.

    – MrJM


  2. - Just Me - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 9:38 am:

    What on earth are we going to do when we have to return to a Governor who isn’t a billionaire?


  3. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 9:38 am:

    Funny commentary by the Governor. Almost like he had a napkin tied around his neck with a fork and knife, he seemed so excited.


  4. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 9:39 am:

    ===What on earth are we going to do when we have to return===

    They’ll do what others have done: Use their campaign funds.


  5. - Ambrose Chase - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 9:52 am:

    I love it when kabillionaires jokingly get into a bidding war over livestock while I struggle to pay my mortgage. Warms the heart.


  6. - Earnest - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 9:53 am:

    Thanks, Rich, for this and the zen moment piglets. It reminded me to take a breath, let go of the noise of the urban/suburban/rural political divisiveness and remember how our agricultural and rural aspects are one of the things I love most about Illinois.

    My dad was born in 1919 on a farm in rural Kinsman. Seriously, “rural Kinsman” is what he and his 7 brothers and sisters called it. As they all wed and had families, they began having a family reunion on the second Saturday of August in the 60s. Though they have all passed and just three of their spouses remain, 24 of the 29 cousins and our families were there last weekend. None of us became farmers, but most of us live in Illinois and most of us have gardens. Cousin Mary’s zucchini casserole has been a potluck star every year since the early 70s.


  7. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    Thank you JB and wife. Some things should transcend the partisan world we live in.


  8. - Anon E Moose - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    Pritzker is a lot funnier than I ever realized.


  9. - R A T - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 10:42 am:

    “Illinois State Fair has set a record for grandstand revenue”

    Make it $3 everyday to get in and you will have the vendors making record profits too.


  10. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 12:08 pm:

    My sons showed pigs and lambs at the Lake County Fair and it was so nice to see the bidding up at the livestock auctions by local businesses and supporters. Various members of the Governor’s family were consistently among the bidders.


  11. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    “In a classic duel of Pritzker vs. Pritzker, the first lady won.”

    Yea, that’s gonna happen a lot. ;-)

    And yea Anon E. Moose, he’s a damned funny guy.


  12. - Mama - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    I bet it was fun to watch the two Pritzkers bid against each other.


  13. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 6:42 pm:

    I cried for days one year because I knew I had to sell my steer for slaughter.

    Me too…and I’m sorry for the animals I consumed before changing my diet.


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