Youth compete at 24th N.D. Junior Beef Expo | TSLN.com

Youth compete at 24th N.D. Junior Beef Expo

The NDSA hosted nearly 60 youth exhibitors and their families at the 24th annual North Dakota Junior Beef Expo (NDJBE) June 22-23 at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds in Minot.

"The Junior Beef Expo was started to get more youth interested and involved in the beef industry," said Chairman Corey Schafer, a New Rockford native. "I enjoyed watching the integrity and sportsmanship shine through the junior exhibitors as they competed throughout the weekend."

Schafer and Bailey Hawbaker of Portal, the show chairmen, and Garrett Becker of Minot and Brett Schaefer of Des Lacs, the show vice chairmen, comprised the NDJBE Planning Committee.

On Friday, exhibitors tested their beef knowledge by participating in the Quiz Bowl, where they identified breeds of cattle, pieces of livestock equipment and cattle anatomy and competed in a buzzer round, where they answered questions about showing, the NDSA, ag policy and other industry topics.

Cutler Schaunaman of Ashley was the top quiz-taker in the junior division, while Rachel Johnson of Zap was the top quiz-taker in the senior division. Bennett Johnson of Zap, Kylee Reiser of Turtle Lake and Lilli Steeke of Rhame comprised the champion quiz team, while Brekken Bachmeier of Granville, Kaleb Neshem of Berthold and Jayd Novak of Minot comprised the reserve champion team.

The cattle show began Saturday morning. Fifty heifers, representing twelve different breeds, 15 steers and one cow-calf pair were exhibited, followed by the junior and senior showmanship competitions.

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In the show, Jake Schaefer of Minot exhibited the supreme champion female, DBJR Mia ES, a Jan. 19, 2017, daughter of FBFI Absolute, which was first the champion Simmental heifer. Cade Erickson of Plaza exhibited the champion market animal, a steer weighing 1,238 pounds on show day. Madison Sundsbak of Des Lacs exhibited the champion cow-calf pair, 7/S Queen 1816 with an April 9, 2018, heifer calf, 7/S Queen 6918, at her side.

In the showmanship competitions, Schaefer came out on top in the junior division, while Fletcher Hennessy of Des Lacs won the senior division.

Riley Lafrentz of Bienfait, Saskatchewan, Canada, judged the cattle show. He and his family own and operate Wheatland Cattle Company, a purebred Simmental and Angus operation. During Lafrentz's college career, he was awarded the All-American Livestock Judging Award and was a member of the National Reserve Champion Livestock Judging Team.

Other NDJBE highlights included the Hardest Worker Award, which was presented to Rachel, Sydnee, Bennett and Veah Johnson of Zap. The four siblings participated in the Quiz Bowl and exhibited Angus, Limousin and Shorthorn cattle, including the grand champion Limousin and the reserve champion Shorthorn females. "The Johnson family is always eager to get involved in activities and willing to lend a helping hand," Hawbaker said. "They were a logical pick for this prestigious award."

Jacob Scheresky of Des Lacs won another prestigious award, the NDSA Member Award, and $100 cash in the drawing. All NDSA-member exhibitors were eligible.

"The Junior Beef Expo is just one example of how the NDSA places emphasis on young beef leaders and works to encourage youth as they become the next generation of agriculturists," said Brett Schaefer. "It is an excellent place for youth to participate, learn about the livestock industry and have some fun."

Next year's show is scheduled for June 21-22.

For more information about the Junior Beef Expo, or to view accompany photos, contact NDSA Special Projects Director Elizabeth Neshem at (701) 223-2522 or eneshem@ndstockmen.org.

–North Dakota Stockmen's Association