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Winners crowned at Kansas Junior Livestock Show
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Livestock shown by young exhibitors from across the state were named champions at the 83rd Kansas Junior Livestock Show, proudly sponsored by Cargill. During the state’s largest youth livestock show, held Oct. 2-4, in Hutchinson, 687 4-H and FFA members from 86 counties competed for awards and scholarships by exhibiting 1,441 head of livestock.
A 1,334 lb. crossbred shown by Maycee Ratliff of Westphalia bested a field of 129 head to earn grand champion honors in the steer show. Pre-determined cash premiums were awarded this year to the top five animals in both market and breeding shows in all four species. This replaced the premium auction held in years past. Ratliff received a $4,000 premium for her steer. The reserve grand champion steer, shown by Rylee Werth of Ellis, was a 1,334 lb. MaineTainer that earned a $2,000 premium. Third overall, worth $1,000, went to the reserve crossbred steer owned by Madylien Voboril from Overland Park. Gabryelle Gilliam of Washington earned $750 showing the fourth overall steer, which was the champion Maine-Anjou. Fifth went to the champion Simmental steer owned by Blair Vohs of Bucyrus. Vohs earned $500 for her steer.
Cooper Henson of Holcomb led a commercial female to supreme champion honors in the breeding heifer show. Henson was awarded a $1,000 premium. Reserve supreme champion, worth $750, went to a Simmental Percentage heifer exhibited by Abby Wood of Leavenworth. There were 246 heifers entered in the show. Third overall, which earned $500, went to the champion Angus heifer shown by Alexandria Cozzitorto from Lawrence. Jake Nikkel of McPherson led the fourth overall heifer, which was the champion Shorthorn and brought $400. Fifth overall, worth $300, was the reserve champion commercial heifer exhibited by Maycee Ratliff of Westphalia.
For the second consecutive year, Hadley Schotte from Marysville took the champion senior cattle showmanship title. Reserve champion was claimed by Taylor Nikkel of Maple Hill. This is her second year to hold that title as well. In the junior cattle showmanship division, Britt Bair of Hutchinson was the champion, while Haven Johnson from Washington claimed reserve.
Blake Holmes of Lebo guided his 276 lb. light crossbred to the grand champion market hog title, which earned him $2,000. A 268 lb. dark crossbred owned by Elizabeth Hodges from Lebo was reserve grand champion hog of the 172-head show. Hodges hog garnered $1,500. Third overall, worth $1,000, went to Campbell Martin of Bucklin, with his champion Hampshire. Chisum Grund from Wallace owned the champion Yorkshire that placed fourth overall and earned $750. Fifth overall, earning a $500 premium, was the reserve champion dark crossbred, also exhibited by Blake Holmes of Lebo.
For the third consecutive year, a Hampshire owned by Brody Nemecek of Iola was named supreme champion in the 127-head gilt show. Nemecek received a $750 premium for his gilt. James DeRouchey from St. Marys exhibited the reserve supreme, a commercial gilt worth $600. Third overall was the champion Yorkshire gilt, at $500, owned by Braden Mai from Russell. Fourth overall, which garnered $350, was the reserve champion Hampshire gilt shown by Kendall Madison from Fort Scott. Jenna DeRouchey from St. Marys exhibited the fifth overall gilt, which was the champion Duroc. It earned a $250 premium.
Chisum Grund, Wallace, took the champion senior swine showmanship title. The reserve champion senior was Danielle Nading, Fort Scott. In the junior swine showmanship division, Brody Nemecek, Iola, was the champion, with Abi Lillard, Abilene, named as reserve champion.
Kaci Foraker of Burrton exhibited the grand champion market lamb, a 147 lb. entry from the blackface division that earned a $2,000 premium. The reserve grand champion market lamb, a 141 lb. blackface, was shown by Shilo Schaake, Westmoreland. Schaake’s lamb earned $1,000. Third overall, also from the blackface division, was owned by Holly Swearingen from Lawrence and garnered $900. A blackface lamb exhibited by Emma Stewart from Baldwin City was chosen as fourth overall, which brought $600. Dillon McNickle of Mound Valley exhibited the fifth overall market lamb, also from the blackface division, that earned $300. A total of 256 lambs were shown.
A commercial ewe owned by Neal Ehler from Washington earned supreme champion ewe honors and $750, beating out 205 other entries. The reserve supreme champion ewe, also a commercial, was exhibited by Lakin Perry of Sharon Springs. Perry received a $500 premium for the ewe. Third overall, worth $400, was a commercial ewe owned by Reilly Stewart of Baldwin City. The champion Hampshire shown by Gage Nichols of Russell was chosen as fourth overall and received $300. Fifth, garnering $200, went to a commercial ewe also owned by Neal Ehler of Washington.
In the senior sheep showmanship division, Kyler Lee of Burlington was named champion. Taking reserve was Holly Swearingen, Lawrence. Tate Crystal from Uniontown won the junior sheep showmanship division. Clay Brillhart of Fort Scott took home reserve honors.
Kaci Foraker from Burrton received grand champion honors and a $2,000 premium for her 88 lb. entry in the meat goat show. A total of 187 head showed. Julianna Sprague of Kincaid showed the reserve grand champion meat goat, which weighed 102 lbs. and earned $1,000. Third, worth $750, went to a goat shown by Brody Nemecek of Iola. Laiten Greeson from Sublette showed the fourth place meat goat and earned $500. Fifth overall was an entry from Jillian Keller of Piqua that brought $400.
Julianna Sprague from Kincaid also showed the supreme champion commercial doe kid. Her entry bested 116 others to claim the honor and earn $750. Jason Paine of Hutchinson exhibited the reserve supreme champion doe, worth $500. Third overall went to an entry from Kenlee Bottorff from Galena, which brought $400. Chosen for fourth was a commercial doe owned by Dillon McNickle from Mound Valley that garnered $300. Fifth overall, worth $200, was shown by Kaci Foraker of Burrton.
In the senior division, champion goat showman honors went to Jason Paine of Hutchinson, with Gabryelle Gilliam from Washington claiming reserve. In the junior division, Brody Nemecek of Iola received champion honors, with Brooklyn Hilton of Howard earning reserve.       
KJLS presented $21,800 in scholarships to 13 exhibitors. Those receiving $2,500 awards were Gabryelle Gilliam, Washington, and Reagan Schlochtermeier, Meade. Rogan Tokach, Abilene; Caitlin Dreher, Iola; Taylor Nikkel, Maple Hill; Cade Hibdon, Princeton; and Michael Olson, Olsburg, each were awarded $1,800. Receiving $1,300 stipends were Katelyn Bohnenblust, Clay Center; Kaci Foraker, Burrton; Janae McKinney, McPherson; Mallory Meek, Spring Hill; Casey Jensen, Courtland; and Kaitlin Houck, Americus. Since the inception of the KJLS scholarship program in 1993, a total of 294 exhibitors have been awarded $390,500.
The Kansas Livestock Association, Kansas State University and the Agri-Business Council of Wichita continue to serve as major show sponsors. Cargill was the platinum sponsor of this year’s show. Merck Animal Health sponsored the beef show and Seaboard Foods was the swine show sponsor. Other sponsors included Ag Choice/MFA, Kansas Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau Financial Services, Friends of KJLS, Elanco Animal Health, Syngenta, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, S.O.W. Corporation and Western State Bank. In addition to these groups, volunteers from across the state also help organize and put on the show.