Showing cattle

Children of all ages learn lifelong skills in handling the showing cattle at Clemson’s Junior Beef Round-Up.
Image Credit: Clemson University Public Service and Agriculture

CLEMSON — Confidence is a 50-pound child tugging a 500-pound steer into a show ring.

Confidence was on display by the hundreds at the South Carolina Junior Beef Round-Up.

Held each August for 4-H members and their families, the event drew students from throughout South Carolina and neighboring states to Clemson University’s T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena for the three-day weekend event Aug. 3-5.

The obvious smiles on youngsters’ faces belie the hard work required in what is foremost an educational event, said Brian Bolt, a Clemson University Extension beef specialist and director of the 32nd annual Round-Up.

“The 4-H livestock program’s mission is to help young people build life skills through animal agriculture experiences,” Bolt said. “Junior Beef Round-Up is one aspect of that program that gives young people hands-on experience not only in working closely with the animals, but also in the basics of marketing and self-expression. This is very much a learn-by-doing event.”

Poster competition

Colorful posters adorned Clemson’s T. Ed Garrison Arena during Junior Beef Round-Up — each expressing the sentiments of young people in the competition.
Image Credit: Clemson University Public Service and Agriculture

In the show ring, judges observe and instruct young people in handling cattle and the craft of “showmanship” — one of the building blocks in the trade of raising and selling beef cattle.

In addition to showmanship competition, young people are afforded opportunities to earn awards, savings bonds and even college scholarships in a variety of contests aimed at teaching the skills needed in the business. Breed shows, the Junior Cattlemen’s Skill-A-Thon, a novice poster contest and sales talk contest round out the event.

The sales talk grades students in four important facets of the business:

  • Knowledge of the animal — its pedigree and performance;
  • Presentation skills — originality, organization and ability to relate information about the animal to the judges;
  • Delivery — articulation, composure and response to questions; and
  • Overall effectiveness of the sales pitch.

Youngsters also get to rub shoulders not only with their peers from across the Southeast, but also with leaders in the industry, such as Roy Copeland, executive director of the South Carolina Cattlemen’s Association.

Working with judges

Junior Beef Round-Up isn’t merely a competition; above all it is an educational event. Judges work with young people to help them learn how to improve their skills in the cattle business.
Image Credit: Clemson University Public Service and Agriculture

“I can look out in this room and see our future leaders,” Copeland told the group at the annual awards dinner. “Junior Beef Round-Up is a great opportunity for us to support youth opportunities in this industry and my hat’s off to each of you to have the desire to work in the beef business.”

Parents are an integral part in most youth events. But helping children raise animals as large as beef cattle, lead them by hand through a crowded ring and present them before an audience — well, that takes a special degree of parenting that doesn’t go unnoticed at Junior Beef Round-Up.

“Without the parents, you young people wouldn’t have these opportunities,” Clemson Extension Director Tom Dobbins reminded competitors. “Your parents didn’t just fork out the money you needed to do this — and it took a lot. But they also gave you their time, good quality time to spend with you.”

In any statewide competition, awards and honors are to be expected.

At Junior Beef Round-Up, $500 college scholarships were awarded to:

  • Coca-Cola and T. Ed Garrison Scholarship: Garrett Ulmer of Lodge
  • S.C. Association of Ag Agents Scholarship: Carsyn Kennedy of Winder, Georgia
  • Nationwide Agribusiness-McLean Marechal Insurance: Hunter Spear of Commerce, Georgia
  • Weems Creek: Kade Mitcham of Oxford, Georgia
  • Greenwood County Farm Bureau: Abby Frost of Bethlehem, Georgia

$1,000 scholarships were awarded to:

  • Jason Dobbins Memorial Scholarship: Grace Gullatt of Salem, Alabama
  • Olson Cattle Research: Will Woodard of Madison, Georgia

Contest winners, by division, are:

Sales Talk Winners:
Junior Division Grand Champion:  Ellie Hartman of Leesville
Junior Division Reserve Champion: Brent Erwin of Iva
Intermediate Division Grand Champion: Jewel Thompson of Opelika, Alabama
Intermediate Division Reserve Champion: Garrett Ulmer of Lodge
Senior Division Grand Champion: Cameron Catrett of Luverne, Alabama
Senior Division Reserve Champion: Brice Hendrick of Troy, Alabama

Showmanship Winners:
Novice Division Grand Champion:  Ethan McMichael of Monticello, Georgia
Novice Division Reserve Champion: Madeline Smith of Westminster
Junior Division Grand Champion:  Chloe Boling of Homer, Georgia
Junior Division Reserve Champion: Cohen McClure of Maysville, Georgia
Intermediate Division Grand Champion: Victoria Thompson of Opelika, Alabama
Intermediate Division Reserve Champion: Grace McClain of Clarkesville, Georgia
Senior Division Grand Champion: Cameron Catrett of Luverne, Alabama
Senior Division Reserve Champion: Bryce Hendricks, of Troy, Alabama

Fitting Contest Winners:
Cameron Catrett, Bryce Hendricks and Grace Gullatt of Team Alabama

Novice Poster Contest:
Kelsie White of Greenwood

Cattlemen’s Educational Contest:
Junior Division Champion: Austin Landreth of Simpsonville
Intermediate Division Champion: Trey Haddon of Gaffney
Senior Division Champion: Allison Harman of Leesville
Ma & Pa Division Champion: Theresa Gullatt

Cash Awards Winner:
Ag South Farm Credit, $250:  Allison Harman of Leesville

Breed competition winners are:

Market Steers
Grand Champion: Victoria Thompson of Opelika, Alabama
Reserve Champion: Caleb Brown of Lillington, North Carolina

S.C. Market Steer:
Grand Champion: Gralyn Christenbury of Starr
Reserve Champion: Ruthie Masengale of Enoree

Feeder Steers
Grand Champion: Hunter Spear of Commerce, Georgia
Reserve Champion: Ethan Dalton of Alto, Georgia

Simmental
Grand Champion: Grace McClain of Clarkesville, Georgia
Reserve Champion: Dylan Chastain of Danielsville, Georgia

SimAngus
Grand Champion: Grace McClain of Clarkesville, Georgia
Reserve Champion: Cohen McClure of Maysville, Georgia

Commercial/Crossbred
Grand Champion: Hannah Wooten of Iva
Reserve Champion: Jewel Thompson of Opelika, Alabama

Gelbvieh
Grand Champion: Grayson Jones of Turnerville, Georgia
Reserve Champion: Caitlin Griffin of Westminster

Limousin
Grand Champion: Kendall Wyatt of Magnolia, North Carolina
Reserve Champion: Cameron Catrett of Luverne, Alabama

Angus
Grand Champion: Kaylen Ryan of Fair Play
Reserve Champion: Bryce Hendricks of Troy, Alabama

Shorthorn
Grand Champion: Logan Mask of Covington, Georgia
Reserve Champion: Shelby Dalton of Alto, Georgia

Hereford
Grand Champion: Regan Mitchem of Vale, North Carolina
Reserve Champion: Brent Erwin of Iva

Charolais
Grand Champion: Hannah White of Greenwood
Reserve Champion: Gracie Johnson of Dublin, Georgia

Shorthorn-Plus
Grand Champion: Shane Kendall of Magnolia, North Carolina
Reserve Champion: Christopher McConnel of Mount Airy, Georgia

Red Angus
Grand Champion: Madison Adams of West End, North Carolina
Reserve Champion: Madeline Smith of Westminster

Supreme Champion Female
Champion: Grace McClain of Clarkesville, Georgia
Reserve: Hannah Wooten of Iva
Top 5: Regan Mitchem of Vale, North Carolina; Hannah White of Greenwood; Kaylen Ryan of Fair Play