Red Angus juniors learn, compete at National Western Stock Show
Young Red Angus enthusiasts from Colorado to West Virginia met in Denver, Colo., at the National Western Stock Show to compete in the Red Angus Junior Stockgrower Contest, Jan. 10 to 12. The three-day event was designed to instruct youth, ages 10 to 18, about the many aspects of the beef industry and the Red Angus breed. Mrs. Sally Forbes, Beckton Stock Farm, Sheridan, Wyo., began this contest in the early 1970s because she wanted to educate and prepare young people for a future in the beef industry.
Cathy and Dave Otto, Parker Ranch, Booneville, Ark., took up the ideas and vision of Forbes and started hosting the annual event that is held in the Yards during the Stock Show. The focus of the contest is animal knowledge, sportsmanship and herdsmanship, not conformation or fitting of the animal. Prior to the Stock Show, contestants maintain a comprehensive record book on a Red Angus or Red Angus-influenced project and are required to make a speech during the competition.
During the three-day contest, participants from Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Nebraska and West Virginia were individually interviewed by the judges and observed for sportsmanship. They worked in groups as well as one-on-one with the contest judges on cattle selection, EPD knowledge and beef industry issues.
The team of judges--Dave Otto, Booneville, Ark., Brent Johnson, Nunn, Colo., Scott Ford, Bertrand, Neb., and Esther Fischer, Harlowton, Mont.,--evaluated and interviewed the contestants on herdsmanship, industry knowledge, record book completion, cooperation with others, Red Angus knowledge and future goals. Contestants were also evaluated on attitude, enthusiasm and willingness to learn, as well as their ability and cooperation.
The Junior Red Angus Association National Board of Directors helped with ice-breakers, a meal and Red Angus Jeopardy. Contestants also took an interactive role in the Red Angus Brain Trust seminar, attended the Red Angus Junior and Open Shows on the Hill and the Mile High Classic Sale.
The weekend's event culminated with public presentations that were broadcast on DVAuction. At the conclusion of contestant speeches, the judges presented the 2009 Junior Stockgrowers Contest awards:
Laura Daniel, LaGrange, Ga., overall champion;
Chris Mushrush, Strong City, Kan., overall reserve champion;
Madelyn Mushrush, Strong City, Kan., junior record keeping;
Chris Mushrush, Strong City, Kan., senior record keeping;
Cabe Croissant, Eaton, Colo., junior grand champion;
Madelyn Mushrush, Strong City, Kan., reserve junior grand champion;
Coy Goggins, Springview, Neb., senior grand champion;
Chelsea Rorison, Jane Lew, W. Va., reserve senior grand champion.
As Overall Champion, Daniel received a certificate for $1,200 toward the purchase of a registered, 1A Red Angus heifer donated by the Stockgrower Contest. In addition to receiving jackets, sweatshirts and mugs, each contestant received a feed pan, water pail, halter and various livestock supplies.
To benefit the Stockgrowers Contest, a Herd-In-A-Tank auction was held during the Red Angus Mile Classic Sale. The fund-raising auction included a Millennium semen tank, embryos and semen donated by Red Angus breeders and semen companies. JD Red Angus, John Jung and Stephanie Pharis, of Mina, S.D., purchased the Herd-In-A-Tank package.
For additional information on the Red Angus Junior Stockgrower Contest or the Junior Red Angus Association, contact: Dawn Bernhard, junior programs coordinator, Red Angus Association of America, 515-679-4006, firstname.lastname@example.org.