Hours of training, grooming and practicing culminated in applause, ribbons and banners for winning youth livestock exhibitors at the 60th Alabama Junior Beef Expo (JBE) March 15-17. JBE was presented by the Alabama Farmers Federation with numerous community and business sponsorships.
“I’m convinced what we’re doing to support this event is one of the most important things we can do for our state,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “These young people are our future, and we need to help them prepare to be leaders.”
Special guest Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey provided words of support to exhibitors when she visited the JBE March 16.
Held inside Teague Arena on the Garrett Coliseum grounds in Montgomery, winning exhibitors were awarded thousands of dollars in prize money. Special college scholarships were also presented.
“I’ve been showing for nine years — so, half of my life,” said Chilton County’s Aniston Bolding, who plans to join a livestock judging team next year in college. “It’s taught me life lessons, like how to be a humble winner and a gracious loser. It’s also taught me to appreciate agriculture and the livestock industry and how to be a voice for it.”
Bolding said she would encourage others to get involved in livestock shows.
“It doesn’t matter if your calf is not as good as others, you can succeed in showmanship if you work with your animals,” said Bolding, who won first place in Class 2 Senior Division Showmanship. “As you get more experience, you’ll appreciate your cattle more when you’re able to get better animals. Showing livestock will make you a better person.”
For the Market Show and the Heifer Show held March 15 and 17 respectively, division winners were awarded based on cattle breed and performance. JBE is held annually in conjunction with the SLE Rodeo.
The March 16 Showmanship contest split competitors into classes based on age, and awards were presented based on the exhibitor’s skills in the ring.
In total, 175 youth exhibited 325 animals in the expo. For photos from the show, visit the Federation's Facebook page.
View our special JBE section.