Minnesota Beef Expo highlights

Wisconsin State Farmer
Keeping cattle in good condition through the fall and into early winter ultimately helps insulate the animal and minimize the amount of feed required later in the winter season.

St. Paul, Minn. — A perfect fall weekend was the backdrop for the 16th Annual Minnesota Beef Expo. Held every October at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, the Minnesota Beef Expo brings together cattle producers and youth livestock exhibitors to celebrate and promote the beef industry.

This four-day event is the largest all-beef show in Minnesota and includes youth contests, cattle sales, a trade show, educational seminars and an 860-head junior show.

Exhibitors and attendees came together from all over the Upper Midwest. In 2016, more than 700 youth exhibitors competed in the weekend’s junior events. Plus, some of region’s best seedstock producers sold cattle and embryos at three sales during the weekend.

The Expo kicked off Thursday with a Youth Knowledge Bowl followed up by the Sullivan Supply Stock Show University Fitting Seminar. Fitting experts taught youth how to clip and prepare their show cattle to an enthusiastic crowd.

On Thursday evening, youth gathered for MYBEP’s Beef Industry Ideas & Insights Symposium where beef industry leaders informed attendees in breakout sessions regarding Beef Quality Assurance, high stress cattle handling, reproductive technologies, the work of artist Michelle Weber, animal science at the University of Minnesota, cow herd and show animal nutrition, current visual cattle selection basics, improving your MYBEP application, and using ultrasound for pregnancy checking and fetal sexing.

After the sessions, the Peterson Farm Brothers entertained the audience with parody songs, personal anecdotes and shared their philosophies on life on the farm. To end the evening’s events, the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association awarded one of the eleven MYBEP heifers to Jayden Bailey, Benson Minn.

Friday’s schedule offered even more opportunities for youth exhibitors. The day started with a judging contest where 28 teams in three age categories competed for top prizes with a total of 218 participants.

Following the contest, Sullivan Supply hosted their annual fitting contest. Eighteen teams competed for Champion fitting honors in the Sullivan Supply Fitting Contest. Friday’s youth activities ended with an exciting Junior Showmanship Contest that included 391 contestants.

Wrapping up the evening, progressive breeders from the upper Midwest gathered at the CHS Miracle of Birth Center on Friday evening for fellowship and to purchase top frozen genetics at the White Satin on Ice sale. A standing-room-only crowd had the opportunity to bid on thirty-one embryo lots. The high-selling lot was sold by Nathan Latzke for $4,250.

The Minnesota Beef Expo Sale and the Midwest British White Park Select Sale were held Saturday, Oct. 22. Sale day events included two shows, Supreme Row selection with a sitdown dinner served to over 950 people co-sponsored by Central Life Sciences, Minnesota Corn Growers’ Association and the Minnesota Simmental Association.

Supreme Row Champions took home $6,750 in prize money thanks to the following sponsors: Minnesota Farm Guide, Agri-Media Livestock Group, Purina Feed Animal Nutrition LLC, Rabo AgriFinance and Optimizer Calf Gel.

Ninety-one animals were sold in this year’s sale. The high-seller was the Supreme Champion female at $7500. The Supreme Row Champion Female was a Charolais heifer, WDZ Tamara 659 P, consigned by Zehnder & Waage Cattle, Stanchfield, Minn. She was purchased by Madison Hirschman, St. Paul, Neb. Reserve Supreme Row Champion Female honors went to Mente Cattle Company, Adrian, Minn., with their Maine Anjou heifer MENT Jackie 130D. She was purchased by Wynn Johnson from Baltic, So. Dak.

The Supreme Row Champion Steer was consigned by Tara Thorson, Glenville, Minn., and was purchased by Audrey Redalen, Chatfield, Minn. The Reserve Supreme Row Champion Steer consigned by Keyes Family from Knapp, Wisc., was purchased by Sleiter Limousin, Morris, Minn.

One of the most unique aspects of the Minnesota Beef Expo is the Minnesota Youth Beef Experience Program (MYBEP). Eleven heifers were presented to lucky youth who went through an intensive application process. Each winner is responsible for raising, breeding and maintaining complete records on care of the animal, while providing monthly progress reports to the original owner and the Minnesota Beef Expo. The breeders who donated heifers will also serve as mentors to the respective winners.

The 2016 heifer recipients were:

  • Katie Fitzgerald, from West Concord, Minn., received the Angus heifer sponsored by Jim & Deb Purfeerst, Mark, Jamie, Leo, & Ivy Purfeerst, and Matt Purfeerst,
  • Purfeerst Farms, Faribault, Minn. of the Minnesota Angus Association.
  • Emilee White, from Wadena, Minn. received the Charolais heifer sponsored by Clint, Roxane, Kaylee, & Kendra Kathrein, Little Falls, Minn. of the Minnesota/Wisconsin Charolais Association.
  • Kallie Mattison, from Lamberton, Minn., received the Charolais heifer sponsored by Minnesota/Wisconsin Charolais Association and will be mentored by Dwain & Barb Nelson, Katie Nelson and Rachel & Travis Molitor, Nelson Charolais, Rice, Minn.
  • Sydney Poquette, from Wanamingo, Minn., received the Hereford heifer sponsored by Ross and Beth Carlson & family, Carlson Farms, Murdock, Minn. of the Minnesota Hereford Breeders.
  • Anakin Bosek, from Garfield, Minn.,received the Limousin heifer sponsored by Steve & Cathy Backman, and Coby & Sarah Backman, Morris, Minn. of the Minnesota Limousin Association.
  • Elizabeth Risacher, from Wright, Minn., received the Maine Anjou heifer sponsored by the Minnesota Maine Anjou Association and will be mentored by the Dave and Stacey Mente & family, Mente Cattle, Adrian, Minn.
  • Katilin Geyer, from Lisbon, No. Dak., received the Red Angus heifer sponsored by the AgStar Fund For Rural America and mentored by Steve Pomerenke of AgStar Financial Services.
  • Mathew Prinsen, from Glenwood City, Wisc., received the Shorthorn heifer sponsored by the Bollum family, Bollum Family Shorthorns, Goodhue, Minn. of the Minnesota Shorthorn Association.
  • Abby Blagg, from Salem, So. Dak., received the Simmental heifer sponsored by the Aggen family, Oak Meadows Farm, Harmony, Minn. of the Minnesota Simmental Association.
  • Camie Paulson, from Milaca, Minn., received the South Devon heifer sponsored by Kurt, Sue and Kyle Stranberg of Maynard, Minn. of the Northern States South Devon Association.
  • Jayden Bailey, from Benson, Minn., received the Symposium heifer sponsored by the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association and mentored by Mark & Alison Pesek and Dick & Judy Pesek of Taunton, Minn and Steve and Jill Resler of Owatonna, Minn.

The MYBEP recipients from 2015 competed for the MYBEP Achievement Award. A belt buckle, sponsored by the Minnesota Beef Cattle Improvement Association, was presented to Wyatt Lawrence, Princeton, Minn. Lawrence was also the recipient of an embroidered bag from Sanctified Designs and a $750 scholarship sponsored by the Minnesota Farmers Union and the Minnesota Farmers Union Agency.

An impressive 858 head were sorted in Sunday’s Junior Show by Dan Harker and Barry Wesner, both of Indiana. Supreme Champion Heifer honors went to Sydney Zehnder, Stanchfield, Minn., with her Red Angus female, WDZ Girl Power 5028. Paige Peine, Hastings, Minn., won the Reserve Supreme Champion female honors with her Angus heifer S&R Ellen J548. Keaton Krieg, Kinsley, Iowa, and Elle Horn, Lisbon, Wisc, had the Champion and Reserve Champion Prospect Calves, respectively.

Shelby Hartwig, Albany, Minn., exhibited the Supreme Champion Market Beef. Abi Henderson, Adel, Iowa, showed the Reserve Supreme Market Beef.

The 2017 Minnesota Beef Expo will be held October 19-22 at the Minnesota State.