The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is pleased to announce the 2019-20 BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) program sponsoring partners that include AgPro Companies, Bob Evans Farms; Farm Credit Mid-America; Frazier Farms; Garwood Arena; Kalmbach Feeds – Formula of Champions; M.H. Eby, Inc.; John Deere, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Weaver Leather Livestock. BEST is a youth program of OCA that recognizes Ohio’s junior beef exhibitors for participation and placings through a series of sanctioned cattle shows that include showmanship competitions, educational contests and leadership opportunities. Juniors who participate in these sanctioned shows earn points for their placings. Points are tabulated for cattle, showmanship, registered Bred & Owned animals and first or second year BEST participants in a separate Novice division for market animals, heifers and showmanship. The program promotes consistency for exhibitors at sanctioned shows hosted by county associations or agricultural groups and clubs. These points are tabulated and posted at www.ohiocattle.org.
The 2019-20 OCA BEST Season is as follows:
- AGR Holiday Classic — Columbus, Dec. 7-8
- Scarlet & Gray Midwest Showdown — Springfield, Jan. 4-5
- Clark County Cattle Battle — Springfield, Jan. 25-26
- DTS Cupid Classic — Springfield, Feb. 15-16
- Holmes County Preview — Millersburg, March 7-8
- Ohio Beef Expo — Columbus, March 19-22
- BEST Awards Banquet — Columbus, May 2
New for the 2019-20 BEST season, OCA is introducing the Stockmanship division. This new opportunity was developed in an effort to further youth’s knowledge of cattle throughout the state and to allow youth to showcase their abilities and talent outside of the show ring.
The Stockmanship division will be comprised of beef industry-focused events and competitions that are in conjunction with BEST shows and OCA events. This division of the BEST program is open to all Ohio youth regardless of if they show cattle during the BEST show season. If an existing BEST participant would like to sign up for the Stockmanship division, they will do so under their BEST user profile at best.ohiocattle.org for no additional cost outside of existing cattle nominations. If age-eligible individuals would like to participate in the Stockmanship division but don’t have any cattle enrolled in the 2019-2020 BEST program, they should create their username and profile at best.ohiocattle.org (if they don’t have an existing account either BEST or non-BEST) and elect to participate in the Stockmanship division. Non-cattle exhibiting BEST Stockmanship participants will need to have a current $75 family OCA membership and will pay a one-time Stockmanship participation fee of $60. Individuals may sign up for the Stockmanship program at any point throughout the season. Stockmanship participants may sign up for contests at https://www.ohiocattle.org/best/stockmanship.
The following are the 2019-2020 Stockmanship Contests:
- Salesmanship — held at the Scarlet & Gray Midwest Showdown Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020
- Quiz Bowl — held at the OCA Annual Meeting Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020
- Fitting Contest — held at the DTS Cupid Classic Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020
- Judging Contest — held at the Ohio Beef Expo Friday, March 20, 2020
- Cattlemen’s Challenge Written Test — available at the Annual Meeting or any BEST sanctioned show in the show office.
As the BEST program prepares to kick off its’ season the first weekend in December, the program’s volunteer leadership has kept the focus on continuing a family-friendly and leadership building atmosphere. To accompany this effort, the committee, sponsoring partners and sanctioned shows are working together to give participants and their families opportunities to showcase their strength outside of the show ring through community service participation and character trait recognition.
This year’s community service partner is the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio (RMHC). BEST participants are encouraged to collect pop tabs, volunteer at RMHC, and participate in the Celebrity Showdown. BEST participants can sign up for the RMHC — BEST Volunteer Day that will be on Dec. 23. The Celebrity Showdown will be hosted Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at the Champion’s Center in Springfield in conjunction with the Clark County Cattle Battle. All pop tabs collected by BEST participants are turned in at the BEST Awards Banquet where the top collector will be awarded. Visit https://www.ohiocattle.org/best/community-service for complete details and sign-up information.
OCA and sponsoring partner, Weaver Leather Livestock, have teamed up to recognize individuals that are exceptional leaders, no matter their age. Any OCA member or BEST participant or their parents may nominate other cattlemen, breeders and exhibitors for any of the Character Traits to be awarded at the end of the nomination period. Character Trait nominations for the 2019-20 season will open at www.ohiocattle.org on Dec. 6 and close on April 1, 2020. The categories eligible for nomination include: Focus, Teachable, Attitude, Kindness and Boldness. View more about the Character Traits at https://www.ohiocattle.org/best/character-traits. Nominations will be evaluated by a committee and awarded during the BEST program awards banquet on May 2, 2020.
All cattle entering Ohio to show in a BEST sanctioned show MUST be tagged with an electronic identification (EID) ear tag prior to arriving at their first BEST show. To obtain farm EID tags, exhibitors must first obtain a Premise ID number through the state’s Department of Agriculture — Animal Division. Once the Premise ID is received, contact an animal health product distributor and purchase EID tags. Visit best.ohiocattle.org to learn more about applying for a farm’s Premise ID before ordering EID tags.
BEST nominations and all show entries must be made online at best.ohiocattle.org. The website will be open for the 2019-20 BEST season in late November. Each exhibitor, BEST and non-BEST) will create a unique user account and record their cattle along with that account. Exhibitors who have participated in the program in previous years are able to keep their existing username and password. Exhibitors may complete this portion of the sign-up process now and show entries can be made starting on the Monday prior to each BEST show until the closure of check-in at each event. At the first BEST sanctioned show, the animal’s EID tag number will be recorded and will be used to check that animal in at any future BEST show for the 2019-20 show season. Once the participant and animal are entered into the system, show entries must be made prior to each show. Exhibitors may then pay for show entries online with a credit card or they may choose to pay upon arrival at the BEST show. Computers will also be available at each BEST show to facilitate online check-in. Please note that all cattle must be entered in the show prior to bringing cattle through check-in. Participants may also use their smartphone, tablet or PC and make show entries.
The program concludes with an annual awards banquet held in May where over 225 awards will be presented valued at over $85,000. All BEST participants that sign up for the program will receive a sign-up gift as a special incentive. Additionally, sponsoring partner, M.H. Eby, awards one lucky BEST participant the use of a livestock trailer at the end-of-the-year awards banquet. BEST participants earn a ticket into the trailer drawing for each time they exhibit a nominated animal at a BEST-sanctioned show. First or second year Novice participants are also entered into a novice-only drawing for a grooming chute, donated by Weaver Leather Livestock.
For the 2019-20 show schedule or for more information regarding the BEST program, visit www.ohiocattle.org or contact the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association at 614-873-6736 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to follow OCA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat or visit www.ohiocattle.org for the latest program updates.