Junior Charolais Nationals Returns to Nebraska

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email

250 American International Junior Charolais Association members are in Grand Island this week competing to have the best of the breed.

But show coordinators say it's the leadership part of this event that's most important.

"The kids get great opportunities to learn from people within the cattle business through their leadership conferences, plus have the opportunity to be involved in all the different contests and meet kids from across the nation," says co-coordinator Krista Dybdal, and advisor with the Nebraska Junior Charolais Association.

Youth leaders say forming those friendships is key to them working together as future producers.

"Having the kids learn about not just the show, but the industry as a whole," says Kaitlyn Lewis, AIJCA Board President. "We are the future of the beef industry here and just need to learn to promote ourselves in the future."

The Junior Charolais Nationals changes states every year, and the last time it was in Nebraska was in 1996, so Nebraska Charolais officials say it's great to have it back in the Cornhusker state.

"The numbers of the juniors had kind of fallen off in Nebraska, we didn't have very many families and that's been built back up now to where we felt we were able to take it on and have it here this year," says Dybdal. "We're very happy to have it here in Grand Island at the state fair grounds."

Lewis says the show and conference, just like raising cattle, is a family affair.

"You can't show until you're 8 but you can participate in all the contests as early as you want to, so there's a lot of young kids and families," she says. "It's a fun filled event for everybody."

Lewis says the fun will continue for the Charolais Juniors on Thursday and Friday with showmanship and heifer shows and more conference sessions.

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