The 22nd annual Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic is set to begin on Feb. 18, at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds in Kearney, Neb. This event showcases Nebraska cattle and horse producers, and offers a variety of events for attendees to attend. The classic runs through Feb. 24.
The NCC will feature over 500 head of bulls, bred heifers, heifers, embryo packages, semen packages, horses, dogs, steers, antiques and much more. There will be presentations from the major sponsors, including Purina, Merck Animal Health, Landmark Implement, Plains Equipment Group, DuPont and Principal Financial Group.
On the first day, attendees can watch the ranch horse sort, team penning and speed penning during the day, and team roping in the evening.
On Feb. 19, teams will be competing in the ranch horse competition, and there will be working dog demonstrations during the day. That evening, there will be a ranch horse sale.
On Feb. 20, exhibitors from the Hereford, polled Hereford and Red Angus breeds will showcase their cattle. The Beef-n-Wine Tasting Night will also take place.
On Feb. 21, Angus, Simmental and Charolais breeders will compete. This day will also feature the fancy pen of three show and sale, the Royal Dinner and the Royal Ice Sale, where embryos will be sold.
The Classic will hold the first Annual Prospect Steer Sale on Thursday, February 21, at 6:30 p.m. There are 12 steers consigned for the sale, including crossbreds, Herefords, Simmentals, Maine Anjous and Chimaines.
4-H and FFA youth have the opportunity to win over $2,000 in awards with these steers at the Classic. The steers that are purchased can be shown the next day in the Classic Junior Show, and cash awards are given to the winner exhibitor, as well as the consignor, if the prospect wins the market animal show.
“The steer sale is designed to be more than showing the steer. It will teach them how to feed cattle, and be a part of a great scholarship program,” said Ronette Heinrich, manager for the NCC.
She continued, “They will purchase the steers, and learn about feed efficiency, network with sponsors and then be a part of an interview program.”
The Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic is starting a unique opportunity for youth with this event. Youth purchasing these steers have the option to compete for $4,500 in scholarships, sponsored by Dawson County Cattlemen and Sweetwater Cattle Company. The Prospect Steer Scholarship Program will include a record book, educational tours and interviews for the youth that participate in this program. The students will earn points based on their performance, and the scholarships will be awarded to the three highest placing individuals.
On Feb. 22, Limousin, Gelbvieh, and Shorthorn breeders will show off their livestock, and the replacement heifer pen of five sale will take place.
The Feb. 23 show will feature Maine Anjou/Maintainer and Chiangus/Chimaine breeders. That evening, youth can compete in the Blow-n-Go Junior Showmanship contest. The Supreme Row Judging, which is the Grand Finale of the Classic, will also take place. All of the breed champions compete in this event. The Supreme Champion bull and heifer carries a prize of $2,500 to the consignor, and $1,000 to the buyer. Three judges will determine who the overall winner is.
On the final day of the Classic, Feb. 24, the junior shows will take place. Both breeding heifer and market heifers/steers can compete.
New this year is the FFA Day, which will be held on Feb. 21. The sponsors for this event include Farm Credit Services, the Fence Post and The Nebraska Cattlemen. In the morning, FFA members can network with industry professionals, and in the afternoon they will have the opportunity to compete in the public speaking contest, which will focus on why the NCC is important.
“We wanted to have another event for youth. The Classics main goal is to inspire future leaders in ag and the beef industry and help them in their careers. One was the FFA Day, a way that FFA chapters can get involved in the class,” said Heinrich.
The winning speaker will receive $1,000, and the runner-up will receive $500. The money will go to the chapters of the winning participants, and can be used for programs, travel or projects.
The show allows those who attend and compete a chance to meet other producers, and learn more about the beef industry.
“The Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic is the winter beef expo that has something for the entire family,” said Heinrich. ❖