FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. – A regional youth cattle show – Minnesota Beef Expo – offers young people and their families a great opportunity for fun and learning.
This year’s event is Oct. 19-22 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, with early stalling available from 3-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18.
The Minnesota Beef Expo offers showing opportunities for youth who are in at least first grade and have not reached their 22nd birthday. This age group is often referred to as “Juniors.”
Coordinators Virginia Mold and Cody Koenen cordially invite youth and their families to this annual event.
“Any youth interested in agriculture has plenty of things to do here, even if they don’t have cattle themselves to show,” said Mold. “We’ve got the Thursday night program, judging contest, a fitting contest and things to participate in.”
FFA, 4-H and open-class youth are welcome to participate to strengthen their beef knowledge, experience and abilities.
Youth can also purchase cattle at the expo, or they can bring weaned and halter-broken cattle from home to the Junior Show.
Show organizers expect exhibitors and youth to stall over 800 cattle in the state fair barns during the 2017 event. The expo also draws families from surrounding states.
The barns open on Wednesday for check-in and stalling, and also all day on Thursday. The cattle are stalled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Since families arrive early for stalling and set up, organizers have many planned activities for Thursday.
Knowledge Bowl, Sullivan Supply Stock Show University Fitting Seminar at 2 p.m. and the MYBEP (Minnesota Youth Beef Experience Program) Beef Industry Ideas and Insights Symposium are scheduled from noon to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19.
The MYBEP staff are proud to extend the symposium to anyone interested in beefing up their industry knowledge.
Beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, special guest Kevin Ochsner, host of RFD TV’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen will speak at the MYBEP Ideas and Insights Symposium. Oschsner’s appearance is sponsored by Compeer Financial.
“There will be a panel of breeders along with Kevin,” said Mark Goodrich, who serves as a mentor to the Minnesota Beef Expo leadership team.
Dar Giess, owner of DLCC Ranch in Pierz, Tim Schieflebein of Kimball, and Jerry Delaney, of Delaney Herefords Inc., Lake Benton will share some of their experiences and opportunities in the beef industry.
Up next, the Minnesota Beef Ambassador contest is on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 9 a.m.
This team promotes beef and farming to consumers as they develop skills in leadership, communication and self-confidence.
“It’s very diverse,” said Royalee Rhoads, with the Minnesota CattleWomen, speaking of the ambassadors’ activities.
Ambassadors serve as speakers for the beef industry, work at farm camps, help at the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association Summer Tour, talk to students during school ag programs, and promote the cattle industry during the Minnesota State Fair.
Rhoads and other organizers have been pleased with the number of youth who have participated in this program. Minnesota CattleWomen offer scholarships and many other rewards for involvement.
Next, sale cattle and junior show cattle must be checked in by noon on Friday, Oct. 20 at the Junior Show exhibitor office.
All animals for the Junior Show must be preregistered online by Oct. 15.
The Judging Contest, Sullivan Supply Fitting Contest at 12:30 p.m. and the Junior Showmanship Competition are all held on Oct. 20.
Saturday, Oct. 21 includes the Sale Cattle Show in the Warner Coliseum. All of the cattle for sale are judged and ranked.
Minnesota Limousin Association Northern States South Devon Association will present the 15th Annual Row Selection and Dinner in the Warner Coliseum Concourse following the Market Beef Show.
The whole show transitions to the Junior competition – the Prospect Market Calf Show and Breeding Heifer Show – on Sunday, Oct. 22.
The Supreme Champion Market Beef and runner-ups are selected on Saturday, and the Supreme Champion Prospect Calf and runner-ups are selected by mid-day on Sunday. The Supreme Champion Heifer and Premier Exhibitor and runner-ups are announced at the end of the show.
“A big part of the Beef Expo is definitely exhibiting heifers and steers, and another big part is our sale is geared toward project animals to sell to 4-H or FFA members to have that project for the next year,” said Goodrich. “We are also very cognizant that not everyone exhibits animals, but there is a large portion of the beef industry here that represents beef production through educational workshops.”
The third annual Premier Exhibitor award recognizes youth who actively participate in educational events and youth contests, and excel in the show ring. Prizes are awarded to the top five achievers. Points are given for participating in Knowledge Bowl, Sullivan Supply Stock Show University or Ideas and Insights Symposium, Judging Contest, Fitting Contest and Showmanship. Bonus points are given for placing in these events.
“We are trying to encompass all aspects of the beef cattle industry, as much as we can, at least from the production side of things – from calving through a cow/calf operation,” said Goodrich. “In the future, we’d like to focus on where that fits in with the finished product. We focus on herd health, animal care, animal ethics, nutrition, genetics and actually promoting that animal and exhibiting the animal – fitting the animal, preparing the animal properly for the public or for fellow breeders and marketing that animal.”
For more information on Minnesota Beef Expo, please visit mnbeefexpo.com or visit their page on Facebook.