BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association invited young exhibitors to the North Dakota State Fairgrounds from June 24-25 for the 27th Annual North Dakota Dakota Junior Beef Expo.

Over the two days, 60 young ranchers and livestock raisers and their families attended the expo in Minot, with the intent of learning more about North Dakota’s booming beef industry, as well as showing off their own prized animals.

The events of the Expo began on Friday with a beef trivia-themed cornhole tournament, where teams both played the country sport and answered questions relating to the beef raising, ranching, and production process. The competition was designed to fit into the main goals of the Beef Expo as a whole — to educate youth on the meaty details of livestock in a fun and competitive way.

“The Junior Beef Expo was started to get more youth interested and involved in the beef industry,” said NDJBE Vice-Chairman Jayd Novak in a press release. “I enjoyed watching the integrity and sportsmanship shine through the junior exhibitors as they competed throughout the weekend.”

The team of Zane Lodoen from Westhope and Braden Bailey from Towner was deemed the Champion cornhole team, with Hudson Topp from Grace City and Wyatt Spickler taking the title of Reserve Champion.

The official cattle show began Saturday, where market animals were exhibited and weighed against the ideal standard to determine winners. The event was judged by Tyler Melroe, a senior beef nutritionist with Hubbard Feeds — a company that provides nutrition products and supports services not only in North Dakota but in South Dakota and Minnesota as well.

Over the course of the show, 54 heifers of 12 different breeds and 15 market animals were exhibited. Four winners were chosen for the Champion roles:

  • Champion Angus Female: SAV Georgina, exhibited by Kourtney Schaff of St. Anthony.
  • Reserve Champion Female: JK Jude, exhibited by Madelyn Miller of Bismarck. This heifer was also the daughter of TC Card Shark, the first champion Red Angus female.
  • Champion Market Animal: 1,298-pound steer, exhibited by Brady Beitelspacher of Bowdle, S.D.
  • Reserve Champion Market Animal: 1,271-pound steer, exhibited by Graci Alford of Plaza.

Other heifer champions were exhibited by the following participants:

  • Champion Chi Female: Jett Ouradnik of Amidon.
  • Champion Commercial Female: Blaize Hanson of Des Lacs.
  • Champion Hereford Female: Emily Merck of Granville.
  • Champion Limousin Female: Elizabeth Hanson of Velva.
  • Champion Maine Anjou Female: Sydnee Johnson of Zap.
  • Champion Maintainer Female: Gage Edwards of Belfield.
  • Champion Shorthorn Female: Cora Buchweitz of Munich.
  • Champion Shorthorn Plus Female: Nevaeh Johnson of Zap.
  • Champion SimInfluence Female: Megan Schaefer of Des Lacs.
  • Champion Simmental Female: Drew Erickson of Plaza.

In the showmanship competitions, Jamie Geyer of Glenfield N.D. took the title of Champion in the senior division, while Addison Neshem of Granville, N.D. won in the junior division. Sydnee Johnson from the Senior Division and Jessica Spickler from Glenfield, N.D. in the Junior Division were nominated as Reserve Champions.

“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 NDJBE Planning Committee member Colby Hennessy. “It is an excellent place for youth to participate, learn about the livestock industry and have some fun.”

For more information on the expo, contact Jade Koski at 701-223-2522 or jkoski@ndstockmen.org.