There was plenty of Gelbvieh pride at the American Gelbvieh Junior Association (AGJA) 2009 Pride of the Heartland Classic held July 6-11 in Des Moines, Iowa. The annual AGJA national show shattered a 28-year record with 317 animals exhibited. The previous record of 274 animals was set in 2000 at the AGJA Hillbilly Classic in Springfield, Mo.
A total of 173 junior members from as far west as Washington and as far east as North Carolina participated in the week-long event. The week was filled with educational contests, exhibition of Gelbvieh and Balancer animals and fun activities to encourage camaraderie among the junior members and their families.
“Participating at a national level show is an excellent opportunity for young Gelbvieh breeders, as well as anyone who has an interest in beef cattle, to gain experience at a nationally competitive level. The AGJA has a well-established reputation for providing real industry experience through the contests at national shows, in addition to fostering a true family-friendly atmosphere,” says Dana Stewart, American Gelbvieh Association Director of Member Services.
Top-notch Gelbvieh and Balancer bulls, females and market steers were exhibited on Friday and Saturday of the Junior Classic. Dr. Chris Skaggs of College Station, Texas judged the Market Steer and Gelbvieh entries. Tyler Cates from Moduc, Ind., evaluated the Balancer entries.
Grand Champion Gelbvieh Female honors went to Tahanee Embry, Priddy, Texas with JDPD Rumor Had It 407U, a February 2008 daughter of RTRM Headline. The Reserve Grand Champion Gelbvieh Female was GRU MS Complete 817U. Grace Hammer, Wallace, Kan. exhibited this January 2008 female sired by GATZ Complete Package 8L ET.
The Grand Champion Bred and Owned Gelbvieh Female was GGGE 3G Cowgirl Ursula 837U, a February 2008 daughter of GGGE 3G Space Cowboy, shown by Emily Griffiths, Kendallville, Ind. Britney Volek, Highmore, S.D., exhibited the Reserve Grand Champion Bred and Owned Gelbvieh Female, BVLK U121, a November 2008 female sired by ELK CK Crazy Horse 138P.
Emily Griffiths, Kendallville, Ind., claimed the Grand Champion Balancer Female and Grand Champion Bred and Owned Balancer Female honors with GGGE 3G Cowgirl Star. This female is a March 2006 daughter of JRI Extra Exposure 285L71ET and had twin heifer calves at side sired by GGGE 3G Smoke N’ Mirrors.
The Reserve Grand Champion Balancer Female was BCFG Butlers Carefree 534U ET, a February 2008 daughter of Lemmon Newsline C804. Zachary Butler, Milton, Tenn. showed this winning entry, which was also named the Reserve Grand Champion Bred and Owned Balancer Female.
Emily Griffiths, Kendallville, Ind., showed the Grand Champion Bred and Owned Gelbvieh Bull. GGGE 3G Warpaint 913W is a January 2009 son of RID R Collateral 2R. The Reserve Grand Champion Bred and Owned Gelbvieh Bull was SKLS James 17U, a November 2008 son of JHG Premonition 662S ET. Ashley Skeels, Boerne, Texas, exhibited this winning entry.
Grand Champion Bred and Owned Balancer Bull was GGGE 3G Uganda 895U shown by Emily Griffiths, Kendallville, Ind. This August 2008 bull was sired by GGGE 3G Smoke N’ Mirrors. Reserve Grand Champion Bred and Owned Balancer Bull honors went to SYD Boondocks Quid 9106W, a March 2009 son of Connealy Whitman shown by Sydney Wilkinson, Model, Colo.
The Grand Champion Market Steer was shown by Grace Hammer, Wallace, Kan., with a steer weighing 1,254 pounds. Jared Ruter, Phillipsburg, Kan., exhibited the Reserve Grand Champion Market Steer with a weight of 1,302.
Competing in a National Showmanship Contest in an honor for any junior member. A total of 147 juniors from three age divisions competed for the distinction of AGJA top showperson. Tyler Cates, Moduc, Ind., and Cortney Hill-Dukehart, Sykesville, Md., evaluated the showmanship contestants.
Capturing the Champion Junior Showman honors was Grant Powell from Missouri. Kacie Jurgens from Nebraska won the Reserve Champion Junior Showmanship division. The Champion Intermediate Showman was Justin Teeter of North Carolina, while Chandler Ladner of Kansas was named the Reserve Champion Intermediate Showman. Ashley Skeels from Texas won the Champion Senior Showmanship division. Zachary Butler of Tennessee was selected as the Reserve Champion Senior Showman.
In addition to showing animals, AGJA members participated in 11 educational contests throughout the week. Junior members competed as individuals or teams to test their knowledge and develop valuable life skills.
The Rookie of the Year award, which honors the first-time Junior Classic participant who earns the most points in competition, was awarded to Grant Powell of Missouri.
The All-Around Competition recognizes those juniors that earn the most points from participation in contests during the Classic. The Top Ten All-Around Juniors were: First Grant Powell, Missouri; Second Chisum Grund, Kansas; Third Justin Teeter, North Carolina; Fourth Ashley Skeels, Texas; Fifth Grace Vehige, Missouri; Sixth Tahanee Embry, Texas; Seventh Grace Hammer, Kansas; Eighth Meredith Clark, Kansas; Ninth Jackson Rieble, Minnesota; and Tenth Janelle Hayek, Iowa.
The State Challenge Cup rewards the state that has the most member participation in events throughout the week of the Junior Classic. The State Challenge Cup Champion was Kansas, with Runner-Up Iowa.
Sydney Bigger of Illinois was selected as the AGJA Junior Ambassador. Sydney will represent the AGJA at shows and events throughout the year and carry the Gelbvieh message to others.
The 2009-2010 AGJA Board of Directors were elected at the associations annual meeting. The following juniors were newly elected to the AGJA Board of Directors: Seth Arp, Wis., Dustin Aherin, Kan., Janelle Hayek, Iowa; and Britney Volek, S.D. In addition, the Board elected the following Directors to serve leadership positions: President Kyle Kendrick, Mo.; Vice President Andy Lindgren, Ill.; Vice President of Leadership Development Katie Sullivan, Ala.; Secretary Keaton Kendrick, Mo.; Treasurer Justin Taubenheim, Neb.; Ex-Officio Nikki Hojer, S.D.
For complete coverage of the AGJA 2009 Pride of the Heartland Classic, including full results from the Gelbvieh, Balancer and Market Steer Shows, contest winners, showmanship results, scholarship recipients and photos of all winners, visit www.gelbvieh.org.
The AGJA 2010 Lone Star Classic will be held in College Station, Texas, July 4 – 9. Check out a special invitation from the Texas Gelbvieh Junior Association to attend the 2010 Lone Star Classic at www.gelbvieh.org/mainjr2.html.