The Illinois State Fair has a new funding source. Governor Bruce Rauner has announced the creation of the Illinois State Fair Foundation. He says it is a non-governmental, non-political, privately run 501c3 Not-for-Profit to be operated by farmers and community leaders.
The private foundation was created after the Illinois state government failed to pass legislation last year to create a similar board. The private foundation will work to restore and maintain the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, and the DuQuoin State Fair in the southern part of the state.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner purchased the Grand Champion Steer at the Illinois State for a record setting $104,000.
Illinois State Fair Press Release
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - "This is the showcase for Illinois agriculture... the Super Bowl for 4-H and FFA exhibitors" -Orion Samuelson
The Governor's Sale of Champion has always been the crown jewel of agricultural events at the Illinois State Fair, and this year was no exception. For the second year in a row, the sale was held in the Coliseum. This grand venue serves as the pinnacle forum for an ag exhibitor.
Capping the night off was the sale was the Grand Champion Steer owned by Lucas Wisnefski. Wisnefski's steer sold for a record $104,000 to Governor and Mrs. Bruce Rauner and Friends of Wisnefski. When asked about what advice he would give to future state fair exhibitor, Wisnefski said, "Keep your dreams. I had a dream to win the State Fair, and now my dream has come true." He credits his win to hard work and dedication. Wisnefski plans to use the prize money to further his education.
The money raised at Tuesday night's auction helps to support Illinois agriculture. The junior exhibitors who raised the champion animals receive 80 percent of the funds with the remaining 20 percent to be split equally between the Illinois 4-H Foundation and Illinois FFA.