(SEDALIA, Mo.) –Alexandra Gast, daughter of Bryan Gast and Michelle Branhan, is the exhibitor of the 2014 Grand Champion Pen of Rabbits at the Missouri State Fair.  Alexandra is from Nevada, and a member of the Country Clovers  4-H Club. Alexandra’s prize-winning Californian rabbits weighed an average of 4.66 pounds.

The Reserve Grand Champion Pen of Rabbits honor went to Grace Eversole, from Rocheport, and a member of the Woodlandville 4-H Club. She is the daughter of Dave and Stacia Eversole. Grace’s New Zealand rabbits weighed an average of 4.86 pounds.

On Aug. 16, both Alexandra Gast and Grace Eversole will sell their pen of rabbits in two of 12 lots offered in the Youth in Agriculture (YIA) Sale of Champions. Proceeds from the annual sale benefit both the winning exhibitors and the Missouri State Fair Foundation YIA Scholarship Program.

Many livestock exhibitors will work toward earning a place in the ring at the time-honored Sale of Champions Auction. Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Steers, Barrows, Lambs, Meat Goats, Pens of Chickens and Pens of Rabbits will be featured in the auction, which will be held at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 16, in the Lowell Mohler Assembly Hall. The auction will be broadcast on Live Auctions TV. KMZU radio will also provide live remote broadcast reports during the sale.

Through the generous support of YIA sponsors and the Missouri State Fair Foundation, the Missouri State Fair is able to award scholarships each year to Missouri youth pursuing a degree in an agriculture-related field. Last year there were thirty-seven $1,000 scholarships and one supreme $2,500 scholarship awarded to youth across Missouri.  Since 1992, 474 Missouri youth have received more than $400,500 in scholarships.

“The success of the Sale is credited to the support from Missouri Youth in Agriculture sponsors,” said Wayne Yokley, Chairman of the YIA Committee, and Superintendent of the Sale of Champions.  “Their donations help ensure we are able to continue supporting our young people as they grow in agriculture and pursue higher education.”

A complete listing of the 2013 YIA Sponsors is available on the Fair’s website. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor this year, or receiving more information about sponsorship, can visit www.moyouthinag.org, or contact Yokley at 573-690-8987, Rodney Heimer at 217-257-6182, Sharon Topliff at 573-353-0543 or Mike Williams at 816-797-5450.

The 2014 Missouri State Fair, themed “Harvest the Fun," is currently underway through Aug. 17 in Sedalia.  For more information about competitions and other events, visit www.mostatefair.com, follow the Fair on Facebook and Twitter, or call 1-800-422-FAIR (3247).