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Youth Compete at North Dakota Junior Beef Expo

PHOTO: The future is bright for North Dakota’s beef industry! A big shout-out to the youth exhibitors at the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association’s North Dakota Junior Beef Expo this past weekend (Photo courtesy of North Dakota Stockmen’s Association)

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) hosted 60 youth exhibitors and their families at the 27th annual North Dakota Junior Beef Expo (NDJBE) June 24-25 at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds in Minot, N.D.


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


On Friday, exhibitors participated in beef trivia cornhole tournament. The objective was to encourage beef education while giving the participants a fun, yet competitive, game to play. Zane Lodoen of Westhope, N.D., and Braden Bailey of Towner, N.D., made up the champion cornhole team. The reserve champion cornhole team was Hudson Topp of Grace City N.D., and Wyatt Spickler of Glenfield, N.D. Consolation championship honors went to Gage Edwards of Belfield, N.D., and Carter Sys of Douglas, N.D.


The cattle show began Saturday morning. Fifty-four heifers, representing 12 different breeds and 15 market animals were exhibited, followed by the junior and senior showmanship competitions. 


Kourtney Schaff of St. Anthony, N.D., exhibited the supreme champion female, SAV Georgina, a March 9, 2021, daughter of Conley Express 7211, which was first the champion Angus female. Madelyn Miller of Bismarck, N.D., exhibited the reserve champion female, JK Jude, an April 16, 2021, daughter of WEBR TC Card Shark 1015, which was first the champion Red Angus female. Brady Beitelspacher of Bowdle, S.D., exhibited the champion market animal, a steer weighing 1,298 pounds on show day. Graci Alford of Plaza, N.D., exhibited the reserve champion market animal, a steer weighing 1,271 pounds on show day.


Other heifer breed champions included the following:


Champion Chi Female: Jett Ouradnik of Amidon, N.D.


Champion Commercial Female: Blaize Hanson of Des Lacs, N.D.


Champion Hereford Female: Emily Merck of Granville, N.D.


Champion Limousin Female: Elizabeth Hanson of Velva, N.D.


Champion Maine Anjou Female: Sydnee Johnson of Zap, N.D.


Champion Maintainer Female: Gage Edwards of Belfield, N.D.


Champion Shorthorn Female: Cora Buchweitz of Munich, N.D.


Champion Shorthorn Plus Female: Nevaeh Johnson of Zap, N.D.


Champion SimInfluence Female: Megan Schaefer of Des Lacs, N.D.


Champion Simmental Female: Drew Erickson of Plaza, N.D.


In the showmanship competitions, Addison Neshem of Granville, N.D., came out on top in the junior division, while Jamie Geyer of Lisbon, N.D., won the senior division. Reserve champion showmen were Jessa Spickler of Glenfield, N.D., and Sydnee Johnson of Zap, N.D. in the junior and senior divisions, respectively.


Tyler Melroe of Britton, S.D., judged the show. Melroe serves as a senior beef nutritionist with Hubbard Feeds, focusing on customer business in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. He and his family also run a herd of Chiangus cattle. Melroe received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in ruminant nutrition at South Dakota State University, where he also coached the university’s livestock and meat animal evaluation teams.


Other NDJBE highlights included: the Hardest Worker Award, which was presented to the Sys family of Douglas, N.D. Will Spickler of Glenfield, N.D., won another prestigious award, the NDSA Member Award, and $100 cash in the drawing. All NDSA-member exhibitors were eligible. 


The NDJBE Planning Committee is comprised of Jaime Friesz of New Salem, N.D., and Colby Hennessy of Des Lacs, N.D., the show chairmen, and Trey Klain of Ruso, N.D., Jayd Novak of Minot, N.D., and Cord LaPlant of Binford, N.D., the show vice chairmen.


“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 Hennessy. “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 23-24, 2023.


For more information about the Junior Beef Expo contact NDSA Special Projects Intern Jade Koski at (701) 223-2522 or


The NDJBE is a project of the NDSA Seedstock Council.

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