Record numbers drawn at AGR show |

Record numbers drawn at AGR show

Amanda Radke
for Tri-State Livestock News
AGR Reserve Heifer shown by Maddy Udell. Photo by Andrea Paulson

The South Dakota State University (SDSU) Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) Presidential Classic and Block & Bridle Jackrabbit Classic was held on Feb. 22-23 at the Swiftel Center in Brookings, S.D.

A record number of 135 head of cattle were exhibited during the annual two-day event with cattle coming from five states including South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado.

Lane Peterson, an animal science senior at SDSU from Holabird, S.D, served as chairman of the AGR show, with the help of Blake Eisenbeisz, an animal science student from Bowdle, S.D, as the assistant chair. By having SDSU students run a cattle show of this size and magnitude, it puts them in the driver’s seat for what it takes to put on an event like this.

“Helping put on this show meant finding sponsors, facilities, set-up, getting other members of the chapter involved and keeping everything running smoothly,” Peterson said. “We also trained the two assistants who will take over the show next year – Connor Hoff from Madison, S.D., and Adam Krause from Clear Lake, S.D.”

Daniel Fawcett from Ree Heights, S.D., judged the AGR Presidential Classic. Fawcett selected his top five heifers including: Brandon Hagie, with a Mainetainer heifer; Maddy Udell, Angus; Travis Hofer, commercial; Vada Vickland, Maine; and Maddy Udell, Foundation Simmental, respectively.

Fawcett also selected his top five market animals including: Lacey Schmitz with a Mainetainer steer; Bayley Kroupa, Chianina; Ben Bravard, commercial; Vada Vickland, composite Charolais; and Grant Vickland, commercial.

“The show has been growing more and more every year, and we hope it keeps going that way,” said Peterson. “A few years ago we were right at 100 head, so we are happy with how the show has been growing. Like the number of entries, the quality gets better every year. There were a lot of extremely high-quality cattle here this year, and many participants commented on how much more competitive the show gets every year. All of us that put on the show were truly impressed with the kind of cattle that showed up.”

Scott Bayer from Ringle, Wisc, judged the Block and Bridle Jackrabbit Classic. Bayer selected his top five heifers including: Brandon Hagie, with a Mainetainer heifer; Grant Vickland, commercial; Travis Hofer, Mainetainer; Riley Ruble, Shorthorn; and Maddy Udell, Foundation Simmental.

Bayer’s top five market animals included: Ben Bravard with a crossbred steer; Stephanie Krause, Maine; Vada Vickland, composite Charolais; Colton Sullivan; Chianina; and Riley Jansen, crossbred.

“Block and Bridle and AGR worked together to get the show to run smoothly,” explained Peterson. “We share a lot of things for the shows, including help, resources and costs. The B&B chairs were Theresa Claeys from Winnebago, Minn., and Matt Purfeerst from Faribault, Minn. Like our show, they had two assistants who will take over next year – Zach Post from Lakefield, Minn., and Grady Ruble from Albert Lea, Minn.

“The hardest part of putting on this show was getting industry support,” he added. “We all know the expenses that come with showing cattle, so we try to give back to our participants and help them out by paying back all of their entry money. Because of that, the only way we have of paying for all the other costs of the show is through sponsors. Many of them come from alumni just as private sponsors, and without their support the shows would not be possible.

The show also had major industry sponsors including JBS Swift, Dakotaland Feeds, and Zoetis.

“I think the best thing about this show is what it does for the college students that put it on,” said Peterson. “It really changes your perspective when you’re in the position to organize and plan everything instead of being there with cattle. The two groups have to work closely together and have to be organized, on time, and hold a lot of responsibility between the two shows. Plus, we have all heard the saying, ‘it is one persons opinion,’ and this weekend gives participants a chance to show under two different judges in two separate shows.” F