Organizers of the second annual Central Wisconsin Spring Fling beef cattle show were thrilled on Mother’s Day weekend by the number of entries and numbers of animals that attended – especially since they only started the show last year.
Families came from as far away as Farmington, MN, Richland Center, Whitewater, Vesper, Black Earth, Westby and Palmyra to attend the show at the fairgrounds in Wautoma, Heidi Wagner, secretary/treasurer of the Central Wisconsin Beef Association told Wisconsin State Farmer.
“It was very successful. We were overwhelmed with the support for this show. I’m not sure we have recovered,” she said with a laugh on Tuesday, May 13 in a telephone interview.
There were 163 animals and 109 exhibitors at the show and at least 500 people gathered at the fairgrounds for the event, when the weather turned out to be beautiful.
“The association spent money for jackets and we had to take them off, it was so nice.”
evening, when conditions were cooler and windy, a good crowd gathered at the fairgrounds for a fitting clinic and Stock Show University put on by Mitchell and Justin Wedig from Darlington. Wagner said despite the weather there were 60-70 people -- mostly youth -- on hand to learn more about fitting and showing.
The good turnout at this year’s event shows growth over last year’s event when there were 93 head of animals at the show.
“We heard some really nice feedback, some really good comments,” she said, “especially nice to hear since it’s only our second year of doing this.”
The association, of which Heidi’s husband Cory is president, raffled off a fitting chute to raise seed money for next year’s show and did very well on it, selling twice as many tickets as they needed to in order to get a head start on next year’s show.
Heidi Wagner said the organization had sent out a survey to those who attended the first show. Exhibitors told them that they would prefer cash prizes to ribbons, so this year they offered prizes of $25 for first place, $15 for second place and $10 for third place – and no ribbons.
“In all we gave out $1,425 for class placings and an additional $800 for the jackpot classes.” Jackpot classes were offered for both steers and heifers.
“The judge was impressed with the quality of cattle we brought in, and with our showmanship classes. In the beginner’s class, which is for kids 8-9-10 the judge said ‘they tell me this is the beginner’s class, but beginners they are not – someone is teaching these kids.’”
Exhibitors paid $5 each to get into the showmanship classes and winners got half of the total while second- and third-place exhibitors split the remainder.
Doug Fish, a member of the World Beef Expo board, served as the judge for the day. Wagner said he took a lot of time with the kids and “made it a great learning experience” in regular classes and in showmanship.
“He did a phenomenal job with the kids.”
Wagner and the many volunteers were expecting a pretty good crowd, based on the number of people who had pre-registered to show, but in addition there were 18 exhibitors with 26 animals who registeredevening.
“We cannot thank our sponsors, local businesses and donors enough. A handful of people put this together and we really could not make this successful without these donors and sponsors,” she said.
A silent auction table looked pretty empty when they set it up, but bymorning it was filled with donations that made it a great fundraiser, she added.
The dedicated volunteers expect to do the successful show again next year – on Mother’s Day weekend – but will make a few changes. The show ended up going until aboutevening with three hours of showmanship classes, so they plan to move showmanship to evening.
Wagner said the idea of the group that organized the show was to get kids to work with their cattle earlier and sharpen their skills before their respective fairs. It appears to have worked.