KEARNEY, Neb. – The Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic (NCC) will celebrate the 28th annual event Feb. 16-24 at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds in Kearney. The beef industry has changed since the inception of the Classic in 1991. The obvious change being the number of production sales held today and the different marketing options available to cattlemen.
Over the last 28 years, the NCC has grown into much more than a cattle show and sale. The Classic now includes events that entertain, educate and provide “face-to-face” networking for cattlemen of all ages.
With the beef industry changing so rapidly, the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic identifies the need to bring together the knowledge and experience of an accomplished cattleman with a young cattleman working to grow his or her own cow herd.
“It is with great excitement we announce a new program, the Aspiring Young Cattlemen of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic,” stated Ronette Bush-Heinrich, Classic manager.
The Aspiring Young Cattlemen of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic (AYC) is a mentoring program bringing cattlemen together with the next generation. This program will allow youth the opportunity to develop a relationship with a successful cattleman that raises registered cattle. The cattlemen will be providing the “foundation” of this experience for youth. These cattlemen are actively marketing their seedstock to other producers utilizing a variety of different methods.
Successful cattlemen today do not all participate in “showring” events. The limiting factor for most is the labor to participate in “off the ranch” activities that would include showing and displaying their seedstock. This is where youth participating in this program can bring their energy, desire to show, and passion to be a part of the beef industry. This program is about much more than the showring. The AYC of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic will bring educational opportunities including learning about breed associations, genetic data, breeding options and a variety of marketing tools. The yearlong program will include ranch tours, educational meetings and volunteering to help with production sales.
The Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic will introduce the Aspiring Young Cattlemen program at the 2019 event. The events will be a part of the grand finale activities at Supreme Row on Friday evening. The NCC has invited a breeder from each breed to be a part of the event. Breeders are committing to partner with a youth on a heifer for one year. Youth will complete an application in hopes of being selected for one of 12 spots in the program. They will also participate in an interview during the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic.
The youth and breeders will be introduced during the 2019 Supreme Row. Youth will take the heifer home and prepare to bring her back to the 2020 Classic as a bred heifer. The Classic management will monitor and visit youth twice throughout the year to make sure their heifer is on track to be showcased at the 2020 Classic.
The Aspiring Young Cattlemen program of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic is just one of the ways to invest in the future leaders. The Classic provides scholarships to FFA chapters and youth that purchase steers and heifers at the Classic sales.