The Super Bowl Stock Show
Written by Becky Church, Minnesota Beef Communications Specialist
The National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in Denver, Colorado spans from January 7 – January 22, 2017, and is comparable to the Super Bowl of the cattle industry. Beef farmers and ranchers from across the country, and even those from out of the country, bring their best herd bulls and heifers to showcase.
The National Western Stock Show serves as an excellent place for breeders to advertise and market their best genetics to other breeders, in hopes of increasing working partnerships, as well as bull and heifer sales. Many farms and ranches have annual production sales, selling both bulls and heifers, during the first part of February. Therefore, marketing their elite genetics in January at NWSS allows them to reach a large audience of prospective buyers.
The National Western Stock Show is one that brings cattle farmers and ranchers from across the country together. There’s something so special about walking through bull displays and old rustic gates “in the yards,” and then taking in the shows (and dust, lots of dust) “up on the hill” in Stadium Arena.
The atmosphere really is like none other. It is so dense with history you can feel it.
You’re probably asking if there are lots of cowboys there. The answer is yes. Cowboys everywhere.
You saw a glimpse of the yards above. Here you can take in Stadium Arena. The openness of the arena and echo of the microphone gives you all the feels…or maybe it’s just me?! It is in this arena that a majority of the showing takes place.
It isn’t unusual for show day nerves to kick in before heading into the ring.
Pictured here is Jackson Neil, of Northfield, Minnesota, with his Hereford heifer. He’s in the zone and waiting anxiously for his class.
Are you a nervous snacker? Yeah, so are cattle…
Of all of the exhibitors and attendees at the National Western, you can bet that Minnesota was well represented. I spent part of the day on Saturday helping lead bulls to and from the show ring for Jungels’ Shorthorn Farms. Although Jungels Farm is located in North Dakota, a majority of their crew are from Minnesota.
Here, Will Bollum of Northfield, Minnesota is preparing a bull to show. Washing, blowing and combing up the hair is referred to as “fitting,” and is comparable to a personalized salon experience. “Look good, feel good, do good” is applicable for cattle too.
Dan and Joe Donnelly, brothers from Farmington, Minnesota, also helped prep the cattle for the show. Jungels’ Shorthorn Farm brought 28 head to NWSS, so you can bet they needed some help.
(*If you are unable to fathom this, it would be comparable to having 28 children to get ready and babysit all day long).
Showing and fitting cattle is serious business, but it’s not prohibited to crack a smile every now and then!
Also pictured in gray is Luke Nord, whose family raises Angus cattle in Wolverton, Minnesota.
I also spent some time catching up with Chestnut Angus of Pipestone, Minnesota.
(Check out the LIVE Facebook video on our MN Beef Facebook page)!
In other news, we would like to extend big congratulations to some more of our own Minnesota beef breeders who have been having a successful time in Denver:
Earlier last week, Jens Lind of Rushford, Minnesota, exhibited the Champion Red Angus heifer. Congratulations to the Lind Family and TLC Livestock Services! This heifer is owned with J6 Farms and JC Ranch.
Kyle Strandberg of Maynard, Minnesota exhibited the Reserve Grand Champion Junior South Devon Heifer!
Chestnut Angus of Pipestone, Minnesota showed the Champion Pen of 3 Angus Heifers, Reserve Division Late Pen of Bulls and Reserve Division Early Pen of Bulls.
The Grand Champion Charolais Bull was bred by Polzin Cattle. Congratualtions to Chris Polzin for also being well represented and successful at the Christy Collins Embryos on Snow sale!
Reserve Grand Champion South Devon Bull was bred and shown by Darlynn Cattle Company of Pierz, MN.
Shout out to Paige Peine, of Miesville, Minnesota, for first in her class with her Angus Heifer:
As of this morning:
Ralph Kaehler, K-LER Cattle Company of St. Charles, Minnesota received Reserve Champion Percentage Simmental Junior Heifer Calf.
Amanda Eberspacher, Hilbrands Cattle Co. of Clara City, Minnesota received first in class with their Percentage Simmental Spring Heifer Calf.
Oak Meadow Farms of Harmony, Minnesota exhibited the Reserve Champion Purebred Simmental Pen of Five Bulls.
Kylee Kohls of Litchfield, Minnesota, exhibited the Champion Salers Spring Bull Calf.
Good luck to the rest of our Minnesota beef friends competing at the National Western Livestock Show this week. If you would like to cheer them on from home, or are curious about cattle shows, you can watch the LIVE stream!
If you would like to see a few video clips from NWSS, follow @Minnesota_Beef on Instagram! (will link)
Did we miss your results? If so, we sincerely apologize! Please comment with how you did below.