The National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) is the highlight of the summer for many Angus families, and this year the big event takes place July 6-12 in Indianapolis, Ind. While cattle shows are the main attraction, the week also includes a showmanship competition, a variety of life-skills contests and multiple activities for members of the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA).
"The National Junior Angus Show is an exciting event for Angus youth and their families across the country," says Jaclyn Upperman, American Angus Association® junior activities director. "It is more than a traditional cattle show. It’s an event that challenges youth to build skills and develop long-lasting relationships."
Sponsored by the Indiana Junior Angus Association, the 2014 NJAS is themed "Angus in the Heartland – You gotta love it!" Indiana has hosted the show as recently as 2006, and the state association looks forward to making this event a fun-filled and educational week for junior Angus enthusiasts and their families. All activities will take place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
More than 1,000 head of cattle are expected to compete in Indianapolis. The classes offered will provide opportunities for juniors to exhibit their owned heifers, bred-and-owned heifers, cow-calf pairs, steers, and bred-and-owned bulls.
States will join together to compete for the Best Five Head, while individual members will vie for Junior Premier Breeder and the Silver Pitcher Award.
The NJAS cattle ownership and postmark entry deadline is May 15. Entries can be made online at www.angus.org/njaa.
The 47th Annual NJAS Showmanship Contest will also take place, with two junior Angus members from each state competing for the "Top Showman" title. To qualify, juniors must first be selected during state competition.
Beyond the Showring
A twist to the traditional cattle show, the Carcass Steer Contest allows Angus juniors to increase their awareness of how the Angus breed impacts the entire beef industry. Dr. Curtis and Ann Long of Briarwood Angus Farms, Butler, Mo., contribute cash prizes for the steer contest through a permanent endowment fund administered by the Angus Foundation. They believe the contest is significant because it teaches juniors how to evaluate data and make better decisions for the consumer.
Educational Contests and Activities
The educational component to the NJAS teaches youth how to be confident in their knowledge and talents, think on their feet, and develop skills that will last a lifetime. Youth can enter individually in the following: prepared and extemporaneous public speaking, career development, graphic design, writing, photography, livestock judging, video production and poster competitions.
In addition, each state can enter a team in the quiz bowl, team sales and fitting contests, as well as the American Angus Auxiliary-sponsored All-American Certified Angus Beef® (CAB) Cook-Off, herdsmanship and scrapbook contests.
Contest entry deadlines and further information about the NJAS are available at www.angus.org/njaa or by contacting the Junior Activities Department at 816-383-5100.
The NJAA mentoring program is another opportunity offered during the show, as a way to help prepare younger members for a successful future. The mentoring program pairs senior and novice members together for NJAS activities together, allowing younger member to become more comfortable around other juniors.
For the family’s younger members, a special coloring session will be provided.
NJAA Annual Meeting
Also during the week of shows and competitions, the NJAA hosts its annual meeting. Two delegates from each state will gather together to review the organization’s bylaws and elect six new directors to the NJAA Board. The new directors and officers will be announced during the awards program at the conclusion of the week.
Visit www.ANGUS.org for information or how to participate in the NJAS. A tentative schedule follows, including a summary of important deadlines.