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Youth from across Kansas show champion livestock, earn scholarships
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Owners of the top animals received auction premiums at the 79th Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS), while other exhibitors were presented scholarships. The event, held Sept.23-26 in Wichita, featured 656 youth from 89 counties showing 1,234 head of livestock.
Logan Drake of Winfield led his 1,288 lb. Charolais steer to grand champion honors. Becky Elder of Valley Center paid $12,842 for Drake’s steer during the Auction of Champions. The reserve grand champion steer, a 1,311 lb. crossbred purchased by Cargill Meat Solutions, sold for $8,142 at auction and was exhibited by Morgan Mobley of Overland Park. A total of 102 steers was exhibited at the show.
A Chianina owned by Hannah Talkington of Hays was named supreme champion heifer. Sierra Cargill of Isabel exhibited the reserve supreme champion heifer, a ShorthornPlus. There were 257 heifers shown at KJLS.
In the senior division of the cattle showmanship contest, Kurtis Clawson of Satanta claimed the title of champion, while Maci Schlehuber from Hillsboro took reserve. Jake Nikkel, McPherson, won junior cattle showmanship and Grady Dickerson of Paradise earned reserve champion honors.
The grand champion barrow was a 278 lb. dark crossbred owned by Ethan Frantz from Hillsboro. His winning entry brought $4,154 at auction from Qualitech, Kansas Feeds, Xtra Factor, Westway, MicroBeef and The Hartford Company. Karlie Stephens of Moran exhibited the reserve grand champion, a 282 lb. light crossbred that was worth $2,257 to Farm Bureau Insurance. A total of 264 market hogs was shown at KJLS.
In the senior swine showmanship, Tristan Davis from Princeton claimed the champion title, with Katelyn Barthol from Wellsville coming in reserve. Caitlin Dreher, lola, won the junior swine showmanship contest, with Jenna Goetzmann of Gardner earning reserve champion honors.
A 153 lb. crossbred shown by Curtis Hewlett from Independence was named grand champion of the 229-head market lamb show. Hewlett’s entry was purchased by Ted Crist, Schoofer Grain, Nutrition Research Services, Southwestern Remodeling of Wichita and Kemin AgriFoods for $3,927. Kylie Naber from Osborne, exhibited the reserve grand champion lamb, a 145 lb. natural-colored entry. Naber sold her entry for $2,889 to the Shane Prill family of Wichita.
Elliott Smith from Emporia owned the Southdown entry that bested a field of 44 to receive the supreme registered ewe title. Reserve registered supreme ewe honors went to a Dorset led by Taylor Harrison from Spring Hill. The supreme champion commercial ewe of the 152-head show was exhibited by Devon Grant from Columbus. Taylor Stanley from Baldwin owned the reserve supreme champion commercial ewe.
In the senior sheep showmanship division, Kylie Naber of Osbome was named champion. Taking reserve senior was Emily Harris of Abilene. Gabryelle Gilliam of Washington won the junior sheep showmanship division, while Anna Long of Olathe claimed reserve.
Beth Mercer from Galena received grand champion honors with her meat goat, which bested 184 others to claim the top prize. Mercer’s entry weighed 88 lbs. and was worth $1,806 to S.O.W. Corporation of Wichita. Raylee Faris of Westmoreland led the reserve, which weighed 92 lbs. and was purchased by S.O.W. Corporation for $2,910.
For the second consecutive year, Lindsey Pease from Chetopa won senior meat goat showmanship. Blake Foraker of Burrton was the reserve goat showman. The junior goat showmanship champion was Allyson Rudd from Bucklin and reserve went to Mattie Shafer from Rozel.
Prior to the Auction of Champions, KJLS awarded $21,500 in scholarships to 11 exhibitors. Those receiving $2,500 awards were: Taylor Harms, Lincolnville; Garrett Kays, Weir; and Logan Van Hom, Garfield. Receiving $2,000 scholarships were Taylor Harrison, Spring Hill; Carlyn Olson, Olsburg; and Evan Woodbury, Quenemo. Randee Corns of Eureka and Wade Davis of Princeton each received $1,750. Emily Beneda from Wilson, Tara Ellerman of Everest and Emily Harris from Abilene each were awarded $1,500.
Since the inception of the KJLS scholarship program 18 years ago, 243 exhibitors have been awarded $305,100 for their achievements in academics, community service and 4-HlFF A. Proceeds from the Beefeater Barbecue prior to the Auction of Champions and private contributions are the primary scholarship funding sources.
Teams from 10 states participated in the Mid America Classic Judging Contest held in conjunction with KJLS. A team from Texas A&M University won the senior college competition. Second place went to a team from Texas Tech University. Dustin Frank of Colorado State University was the top scoring senior college individual.
In the junior college contest, teams from Redlands Junior College (RJC) of El Reno, Okla., won both the sophomore and freshman divisions. Teams from Butler Community College (BCC) finished second in both divisions. High individual in the junior college sophomore contest was Maverick Squires from BCC. Gary Agar from RJC outscored all other freshmen.
KJLS is sponsored by the Kansas Livestock Association, Kansas State University and the Wichita Agri-Business Council. In addition to these groups, hundreds of other volunteers help put on the show.
Local winners were: Justyn Shafer, Ellinwood-9th in class 16 - Hampshire Market Lamb; Katie Shafer, Rozel-1st in class 17 - Hampshire Market Lamb, 4th in class 8 - Meat Goat, 6th in class 20 - Natural Market Lamb, 7th in class 8 - Meat Goat; Mattie Shafer, Rozel-2nd in class 10 - Meat Goat, 2nd in Junior Goat Showmanship, 4th in class 20 - Natural Market Lamb, 4th in class 8 - Crossbred Market Lamb, 7th in class 5 - Meat Goat; Athena VanderMeer, Great Bend-12th in class 15 - Commercial Ewe Lamb, 12th in class 18 - Commercial Ewe Lamb, 9th in class 19 - Natural Market Lamb; Austin VanderMeer, Great Bend-4th in class 1 - Meat Goat.