Champions selected at 2013 South Dakota Summer Spotlight | TSLN.com

Champions selected at 2013 South Dakota Summer Spotlight

The 2013 South Dakota Summer Spotlight was held July 26-28 in Huron, S.D., with a wide range of activities. In addition to the livestock show featuring cattle, goats, hogs and sheep, the Beef Ambassador contest, state livestock judging, 4-H public speaking, and a 4-H Skill-A-Thon provided opportunities for young people to participate at several levels.

The event accommodates over 1,000 head of cattle, hogs, sheep and goats from 600 youth participants. The young people represent more than 400 livestock families from across the state of South Dakota.

Riley Zoss, a junior participant from Letcher, S.D., looks forward to the Spotlight show all year, working hard to prepare his projects for the big event. This year, Zoss showed a percentage Simmental heifer, Hereford steer and a few meat goats at the annual show.

His hard work paid off as he earned Reserve Champion Hereford Steer honors in the beef show. In the goat show, he earned a first place in his class for junior breeding doe, a first place in the junior market doe heavy weight class, and a first place in the heavyweight senior breeding doe class. He also won senior goat showmanship.

“This year was one of the best Spotlight shows I’ve ever had. It took a lot of early mornings, late nights and being dedicated to what you love, and I love showing livestock. Practice makes perfect. I always tell younger kids to always work hard, be proud of what you have and continue to learn. You might not have the best calf in the ring, but you can always work to improve.”
Riley Zoss, a junior participant from Letcher, S.D.

"This year was one of the best Spotlight shows I've ever had," said Zoss. "It took a lot of early mornings, late nights and being dedicated to what you love, and I love showing livestock. Practice makes perfect. I always tell younger kids to always work hard, be proud of what you have and continue to learn. You might not have the best calf in the ring, but you can always work to improve."

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Zoss is a second-year student at Mitchell Technical Institute studying agricultural technology and will graduate with an agricultural business and animal science degree in May 2014. When he's not busy working on his show projects or helping on his family's diversified farm and ranch, he's working at the Artesian Veterinary Clinic, Inc., where he is gaining first-hand experience in the livestock industry.

"My goal after graduation is to be a feed nutritionist or have a role in agricultural sales," said Zoss. "I also want to raise Simmental and SimAngus seedstock. I hope to be able to have good enough genetics to sell bulls to fellow cattlemen and raise some show heifers, too, to help advertise. Hard work will pay off in the end."

After a long day of showing beef cattle, champions in each breed division come together for the overall championship. The top five are selected.

Winners in the breeding animal division included: Sarah Carter, with a MaineTainer heifer; Sami Schrag with a Shorthorn heifer; Ashley Beer with a Hereford heifer; Chesney Effling with a Sim-Foundation heifer; and Cagney Effling with a Sim-Foundation heifer.

Winners in the market animal division included: Kylie Beare with a Charolais steer; Kyler Johnson with a market heifer; Kylie Beare with a crossbred steer; Victoria Albrecht with a Limousin steer; and Sterling Kappes with a Simmental steer.

The South Dakota Summer Spotlight is a South Dakota Junior Point Show Association sanctioned event, meaning the youth who participate in shows like this one throughout the state accumulate points based on their results at the various shows. Points are added up and awards are presented at the South Dakota State Fair. Check out http://www.sdjps.com for more information on the show.

Now that the show has concluded for another year, Zoss is focused on upcoming South Dakota State Fair held in Huron on Aug. 28 – Sept. 2.

"Now that I've been to a few shows and heard comments from the judges, I've adjusted my rations a bit to help my steer gain more," said Ross. "I will continue to wash and rinse twice each day and brush my calf's hair quite a bit. I will keep working hard leading up to the state fair. I always look forward to this every year because every year is a learning experience when talking to fellow cattlemen. In conversations, you get an idea of what everyone is feeding, how they are fitting and clipping, and what breeding decisions people are making. It's a good benchmark to help me progress and improve each year. I also enjoy seeing my show friends because sometimes this is the one time each year I will see them, so it's nice to get together and catch up."

Zoss is certainly a very passionate, dedicated youth showman who represents himself and his family at every event he attends. Some might call him a product of the 4-H and junior breed association programs he is a part of – both encourage kids to work hard, be responsible and learn about the agricultural industry. F

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