livestock

Youth compete in national Charolais event

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Just short of 400 youth and approximately 675 cattle from 31 states met in Grand Island, Neb., from June 19 -24 for the Charolais Junior National Show and Leadership Conference. Those in attendance were Hadlee, Bentlee and Cambree Holt, Khloe and Kinzlee Olson and Ava Malone, all from Lake Preston.

The week was not just about showing cattle; there were several contests and activities for youth to participate in during the week. After opening ceremonies, the conference began with a cooking contest and quiz bowl. Ava, Bentlee and Khloe all participated in the quiz bowl contest.

“I enjoyed competing in the cook-off contest as the “Cooking Cousins” with my little sister and cousins Khloe and Kinzlee,” said Bentlee. “The quiz bowl took me out of my comfort zone a little bit, but I was glad I got my question right.”

Tuesday was a busy day with both impromptu and prepared speeches in team fitting and team sales. Hadlee teamed up with a boy from Chamberlain, a girl from Louisiana and a girl from New Mexico and competed in both events. The team sales challenge was a competition that Hadlee had never competed in before.

“I was nervous about trying something new with kids I had just met at this event, but it was a great experience. I hope to participate in it again next year,” she said.

Hadlee, Bentlee and Cambree all gave prepared speeches, and Hadlee competed in impromptu speaking.

Hadlee, Bentlee and Khloe also all participated in the showmanship competition. Since Cambree and Kinzlee are not eight years old yet, they, along with Kash Olson, were able to participate in Peewee Showmanship, giving them an opportunity to show their older siblings’ calves with the help of their parents. It was a highlight of their week.

Besides these competitions, the kids also participated in the photo, art, poster and graphic design contests. Hadlee's photo placed in the top 10 for color in the intermediate division, while Cambree had a photo in the top 10 for black and white and one for color in the Junior Division. Khloe’s herd advertisement poster received second place in the Junior Division.

At the conference, Bentlee and Hadlee both applied for their merit awards. The merit program is designed to encourage all American International Junior Charolais Association (AIJCA) members to not only strive for excellence but to report it and be recognized for it. There are three levels of recognition – bronze, silver and gold. AIJCA members are responsible for recording their points and filling out an application. Hadlee was awarded the bronze and silver merit awards, and Bentlee was awarded the bronze award.

The week concluded with the heifer show. Ava, Hadlee, Bentlee and Khloe all showed heifers. Khloe placed second in her class with her cow/calf pair.

“I enjoyed being able to fit up my heifers and show them in bigger classes at Junior Nationals,” said Khloe.

“I love the environment of being at this event with so many other people that have the same interest and love for the Charolais breed,” said Ava. “The people are awesome, and I love meeting new friends.”

The girls are looking forward to next year’s show and leadership conference which will be held in St. Paul, Minn.

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