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Youth Compete at North Dakota Junior Beef Expo

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) hosted more than 60 youth exhibitors and their families at the 28th annual North Dakota Junior Beef Expo (NDJBE) June 23-24 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 Chairman Colby Hennessy. “I enjoyed watching the integrity and sportsmanship shine through the junior exhibitors as they competed throughout the weekend.”

On Friday, exhibitors participated in a beef trivia cornhole tournament. The objective was to provide beef education in a fun, yet competitive, game. Caleb and Ethan Schwab of Englevale, N.D., made up the champion cornhole team. The reserve champion cornhole team was Evan Bornemann of New Salem N.D., and Kaleb Neshem of Berthold, N.D. The third place honors went to Brady Haugen of Hannaford, N.D., and Gunner Carlson of Finley, N.D.

The cattle show began Saturday morning. Fifty-seven heifers, representing 12 breeds, one Angus cow-calf pair and 16 market animals were exhibited, followed by the junior and senior showmanship competitions.

Sutton Hennessy of Des Lacs, N.D., exhibited the supreme champion female, Flirt 89K, an April 20, 2022, daughter of TASF Crown Royal 960C, which was first the champion commercial female. Zane Lodoen of Westhope, N.D., exhibited the reserve champion female, GBSF Special Kay 2204K, a Feb. 2, 2022, daughter of SO Remedy 7F, which was first the champion Sim-Influence female. Macey Miller of Minot N.D., exhibited the champion market animal, a steer weighing 1,246 pounds on show day. Ashtyn Erickson of Plaza, N.D., exhibited the reserve champion market animal, a steer weighing 1,275 pounds on show day. Grace Ones of Kenmare, N.D., exhibited the champion cow-calf pair, Sand Rock Renee 1851, with an April 6, 2023, heifer calf, OLC Whiskey My Way 181, at her side.

Other heifer breed champions included the following:

Champion Angus Female: Xander Sundsbak of Des Lacs, N.D.

Champion Charolais Female: Aubree Lunde of Upham, N.D.

Champion Chi Female: Grace Ones of Kenmare, N.D.

Champion Lim-Flex Female: Sutton Hennessy of Des Lacs, N.D.

Champion Maine Anjou Female: Cora Schaunaman of Ashley, N.D.

Champion Red Angus: Tana Lee of Plaza, N.D.

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

Champion Shorthorn Female: Sydnee Johnson of Zap, N.D.

Champion Shorthorn Plus Female: Charlotte Wilson of Underwood, N.D.

Champion Simmental Female: Xander Sundsbak of Des Lacs, N.D.

In the showmanship competitions, Ashtyn Erickson of Plaza, N.D., came out on top in the junior division, while Sydnee Johnson of Zap, N.D., won the senior division. Reserve champion showmen were Connor Petersen of Bowbells, N.D., and Anna Petersen of Bowbells, N.D., in the junior and senior divisions, respectively.

Dan Donnelly of Valley City, N.D., judged the show. Donnelly is a native of Farmington, Minn. where he grew up on a beef and dairy operation. Donnelly is currently an ag lender at Bank Forward and runs a small herd of Hereford, Shorthorn, Angus and commercial cattle with his wife Alisha.

Other NDJBE highlights included the Hardest Worker Award, which was presented to the Jamie Geyer of Lisbon, N.D. Alexis Vandeberghe of Cleveland, 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 focuses 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 21-22, 2024.

For more information about the NDJBE, contact NDSA Special Projects Director Jade Koski at (701) 223-2522 or

The NDJBE is a project of the NDSA Seedstock Council.

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