(WICHITA) – The 75th anniversary of the Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS) added to the event's memorable history with a 20-year high in livestock numbers and stiff competition for auction premiums and scholarships. The show took place September 21-24 in Wichita. A total of 700 Kansas youth exhibited 1,351 head of livestock. The show is sponsored by the Kansas Livestock Association, Kansas State University and the Wichita Chamber of Commerce.
A 1,289 lb. crossbred shown by Brooke Bergkamp from Arlington bested a field of 118 head to earn grand champion steer honors. Bergkamp's steer was purchased by Cargill Meat Solutions and Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Café for $11,711 during the Auction of Champions held at the show's conclusion. The reserve grand champion steer, exhibited by Drew Herrmann of Dodge City, was a 1,309 lb. crossbred worth $6,230 to Agritek, Fort Dodge Animal Health, Alltech and Kansas Feeds of Dodge City. Kyleigh Santee, Langdon, showed the champion Angus steer, while the reserve was owned by Reagan Kays of Weir. The champion Charolais was led by Brooke Jensen of Courtland. Tanner Skinner, Liberal, showed the reserve. A steer exhibited by Clay Carpenter, Dodge City, earned the champion Chianina title, while Jarrod Beam, Beloit, showed the reserve. The champion Hereford steer belonged to Ben Jensen of Courtland. The reserve Hereford was shown by B. J. Valek, Agenda. Tess Steckline, Garden Plain, owned the champion Limousin steer. Ashlee Corns, Eureka, exhibited the reserve. Kyler Moon from Liberal owned the champion Maine-Anjou steer, while Cody Couchman from Scott City showed the reserve. The champion Shorthorn steer was led by Kiley Stinson of Allen, and the reserve was an entry exhibited by Janae Ochs of Jetmore. Brady Jensen of Courtland showed the all-other-breeds (AOB) champion. Shane Ligon, Paola, owned the reserve AOB steer.
An AOB female owned by Augusta Marston of Canton was judged supreme champion of the 264-head breeding heifer show. A Chianina shown by Brooke Jensen from Courtland was the reserve supreme heifer. The reserve AOB heifer was led by Shane Schaake of Westmoreland. Tucker Stewart from Washington exhibited the reserve Chianina female. The champion Angus heifer was shown by Lauren Prill, Wichita. Ty Goossen, Hillsboro, exhibited the reserve Angus. Maci Schlehuber from Hillsboro owned both the champion and reserve Charolais heifers. The champion Gelbvieh heifer was exhibited by Grace Hammer of Wallace. Van Tucker, Portis, led the reserve Gelbvieh. For the second consecutive year, champion honors in the Hereford division went to a heifer owned by Brady Jensen, Courtland. The reserve champion Hereford was shown by Katie Jo Parks of Marysville. Morgan Ratliff from Westphalia also had a repeat performance this year, once again owning the champion Limousin heifer. The reserve was led by Jordan Dye from Paola. Pake Ebert, St. George, exhibited the champion Maine-Anjou heifer. The reserve was shown by Devon Stewart, Courtland. Bailey Boomhower from Russell owned the champion Red Angus heifer. The reserve was owned by Judy Parsons from Pratt. A heifer exhibited by Bailey Clanton of Bucyrus was named champion Shorthorn, while Bryce Shideler of Fontana showed the reserve. Zachary Rootring of Olsburg led the champion Simmental female. Jake Gleason, Maple Hill, exhibited the reserve. The champion commercial heifer was an entry owned by Katie Deal, Garden City. Austin Abeldt, Hope, led the reserve.
Champion cattle showman in the senior division was Austin Abeldt of Hope, with Wyatt Schumann of Lecompton earning top junior cattle showmanship honors. Senior division winners following Abeldt, in order of finish, were: Ty Goossen, Hillsboro; Kiley Stinson, Allen; Meg Drake, Winfield; and B. J. Valek, Agenda. Rounding out the top five in the junior division were: Casey Craver, Gypsum; Cory Craver, Gypsum; Maci Schlehuber, Hillsboro; and Taylor Schotte, Marysville.
Trace Mulligan of Scott City guided his 263 lb. Hampshire to the grand champion market hog title. Farm Bureau Financial Services paid $5,280 for Mulligan's entry during the premium sale. A 276 lb. crossbred owned by Wyatt Schmidt, Tribune, was the reserve grand champion hog of the 360-head show. Greeley County 4-H Boosters placed a bid of $3,160 on Schmidt's hog. The reserve Hampshire was owned by Quinton Wuthnow of Manchester. Lyndsey Cranor of Chetopa guided the reserve crossbred. The champion Duroc title went to an entry exhibited by Austin Thompson of Hutchinson. L. T. Plunkett, Syracuse, owned the reserve champion Duroc. In the Spotted division, Kaylee Simon from Dodge City exhibited the champion. Ethan Frantz from Hillsboro owned the reserve. Taylor Wuthnow, Manchester, showed the champion Yorkshire hog, while the reserve was exhibited by Oren Rickabaugh, Coldwater. The AOB title was awarded to an entry shown by Grace Hammer of Wallace. Megan Davis of Princeton owned the reserve AOB hog.
Whitney Plunkett of Syracuse was named champion senior hog showman, while Caitlin Dreher of Iola claimed the champion junior title. Senior division winners following Plunkett, in order of finish, were: Quinton Wuthnow, Manchester; Robert McGuire, Spring Hill; Alex Bachman, Wellsville; and Grant Metsker, Lawrence. Rounding out the junior division, in order of finish, were: Grant Simpson, Columbus; Chisum Grund, Wallace; Lane Mai, Russell; and Devon Coulson, Arkansas City.
Sabetha Young from Howard exhibited the grand champion market lamb, a 140 lb. Hampshire that brought $2,796 from Southwestern Remodeling of Wichita during the Auction of Champions. The reserve grand champion market lamb, a 137 lb. Hampshire worth $2,613 to S.O.W. Corporation, was shown by Alicia Nelssen of Manhattan. A total of 267 lambs was shown at KJLS. The natural division champion was led by Jenna Dennis from Bucyrus. Reserve honors went to a lamb exhibited by Richelle Stone from Andale. In the Dorset division, an entry exhibited by Shayla Lowry, Junction City, earned champion honors, while Myriah Jensen, Gypsum, showed the reserve. Tyler Nelssen of Manhattan led the champion Suffolk lamb. Nicole Roberts, Burdett, owned the reserve. The champion AOB was exhibited by Kassidy Smith of Meriden, with an entry shown by Angie Lundberg of Frankfort claiming reserve. In the crossbred division, a lamb led by Spencer Dennis from Bucyrus earned champion honors. Shane Slyter from Spring Hill owned the reserve.
A Suffolk shown by Macey Dinkel of Hoisington was chosen as the supreme champion ewe from a field of 22 head. Reserve supreme ewe honors went to a Southdown female owned by Tenise Wedel of Moundridge. Reserve champion in the Suffolk/Hampshire division was a Hampshire exhibited by Monica Ebert from St. George. Ebert also owned the reserve champion, a Shropshire, in the Southdown/Shropshire division. A Dorset, shown by Trent Langvardt of Chapman, won the Dorset/Montadale division. The reserve, a Montadale, was exhibited by Jansyn Van Horn of Garfield.
The grand champion wether dam, selected from a field of 168 entries, was exhibited by Alicia Nelssen from Manhattan. Haley Floyd of Johnson owned the reserve grand champion wether dam. For a second consecutive year, Alyssa Heitschmidt of Garden City led the champion yearling wether dam. The reserve champion yearling wether dam was shown by Lance Davis, Yates Center.
Reagan Kays from Weir won the senior division of the sheep showmanship contest, while Ashlynn Schlochtermeier of Russell claimed champion junior sheep showman honors. Following Kays, in order of finish, were: Cheyenne Wiley, Fort Scott; Travis Stroble, Longton; Kari Bormann, Louisburg; and Rochelle McGhee, Westphalia. Exhibitors placing second through fifth in the junior division were: Sabetha Young, Howard; Garrett Kays, Weir; Taylor Harrison, Spring Hill; and Myriah Jensen, Gypsum.
Mesa Merrell from Hillsboro received grand champion honors with her entry in the meat goat show. The champion goat, besting 150 others to claim the top prize, weighed 99 lbs. and was worth $1,445 to S.O.W. Corporation. Taylor Stanley from Baldwin showed the reserve champion meat goat, which weighed 99 lbs. First National Bank of Anthony and A&M Plumbing of Wichita placed a final bid of $2,285 on Stanley's goat.
Champion goat showman in the senior division was Haley Melton of Fort Scott, with Lindsey Pease of Chetopa earning top junior goat showmanship honors. Senior division winners following Melton, in order of finish, were: Cassadie Copeland, Kingsdown; Lane Trautwein, Falun; Rachel Allemand, El Dorado; and Christopher Davis, Scott City. Rounding out the top five in the junior division were: Beth Mercer, Galena; Karley Stockton, Meade; Macy Scott, Perry; and Katie Deal, Garden City.
Prior to the Auction of Champions, KJLS presented $18,500 in scholarships to 11 exhibitors. Kirsty Maris from Louisburg received a $2,500 scholarship. Kate Bormann of Louisburg and Kyla Clawson from Satanta both were awarded $2,000 scholarships. Those receiving $1,750 scholarships were: Kelsey Baker, Burden; Kyle Jacobs, Alva, OK; Samantha McGuire, Pratt; and Leslie Schweer, Garden City. Haley Compton from Elk City and Jenna Dennis from Bucyrus both were awarded $1,500. Exhibitors earning $1,000 stipends were Kaylee Simon of Dodge City and Kristin Willhite from Leon.
Since the inception of the KJLS scholarship program 14 years ago, a total of 191 exhibitors have been awarded $226,000. Proceeds from the Beefeater Barbecue, prior to the Auction of Champions, and private contributions are the primary funding sources for the KJLS scholarship pool.
Teams from eight states participated in the Mid America Classic Judging Contest held in conjunction with KJLS. The senior college contest was won by a team from Kansas State University, while second place went to the Oklahoma State University team. K-State's Brigham Stewart was the top scoring senior college individual. He was followed by Jason Johnson from Colorado State University.
In the sophomore division of the junior college contest, Butler Community College (BCC) placed first and Hutchinson Community College came in second. Maria Stevens from BCC was the high scoring individual, followed by Libby Williams of Northwest College in Wyoming.
A team from BCC also topped the junior college freshman team competition, with Clarendon Community College placing second. Garrett Knebel from BCC ranked at the top of the freshman contest, while the second place freshman was Cassie Silveira with BCC.
In addition to KLA, K-State and the Wichita Chamber of Commerce, dozens of volunteers help organize and put on the show.