A group of individuals and business owners with the name Striving for Excellence joined in bidding for the grand champion market steer Saturday at the Washington Fair Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction.

The group was the high bidder at $5.25 a pound for Stephanie Gerling’s 1,275-pound steer. The total paid was $6,693.75. Stephanie is a member of the New Haven 4-H Club.

Members of Striving for Excellence are John Ridder Falling Timber Farm, Beef Genetics/Nutrition, Jeff and Lisa Eckelkamp, Tony Gildehaus Construction, Tim Unnerstall, Kurt Unnerstall, Dan Cassette, Dan Donner, Weber Bros. Construction, Donna Pruitt, Franklin County Animal Medical Center-Hunter Tainter, Dale Schlitt Construction, Bank of Washington, Jim Brinker Recycling, Beaufort Meat Processing-Leon Grus and Rich Unnerstall.

The reserve champion, exhibited by Jessica Siedhoff, New Haven, was purchased by Happy Apple, Dr. Glenn Sanford and Dr. Rob Halsted, all of Washington. The steer weighed 1,220 pounds and the bid was $2.75 a pound for a total of $3,355. Jessica is a member of th e New Haven 4-H Club.

In all, there were 53 steers auctioned for a total of $175,432.50. The average price paid was $2.67 a pound. The market price Saturday was $1.62 a pound.

Last year at the Fair there were 60 market steers that were auctioned for a total of $170,725 . The average price paid in 2013 was $3.50 a pound. Andi Placht, New Haven, exhibited the grand champion last year. Her steer brought $4,847.50.

The Bank of Washington bought six steers to again be the leading buyer at the auction.

As in the past, many of the steers were donated by the buyers to organizations, foundations, charitable groups, churches and other groups.

A complete listing of the auction results will be found elsewhere in this issue.