Cattle shows are about more than exhibiting livestock — they are a display of skill, hard work and pride in the agriculture and Angus industries. Showmanship events, in particular, are a way to exhibit talent in the showring. Each year a select few National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) members qualify to compete for the title of “Top Showman” in the prestigious National Junior Angus Association Showmanship Contest.

JanLee Rowlett, Hurricane Mills, Tenn., beat out 47 young men and women from 27 states at the 2011 National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) July 16, in Harrisburg, Pa., to capture the coveted title of Top Showman. She received the Dean Hurlbut Award, in honor of the former American Angus Association® director of activities and a silver Revere bowl provided by the American Angus Auxiliary. She also received a $350 monetary award provided by the Hamilton James Memorial Fund. The scholarship is provided in memory of Angus enthusiast and auctioneer Ham James.

“I have dreamt of showing in this contest for many years, and just being in the top five would have been a dream come true,” Rowlett says.

She says to prepare for the contest she worked weekly with young exhibitors in her county and observed other showmen to sharpen her own showmanship skills. Mental preparation was also a large part of her success.

“On the morning of, I finally let myself envision what it would be like to win, how I would react and what it would feel like. This gave me confidence going into the ring,” she says.

Other showmen in the top five include: Ty Bayer, Ringle, Wis., second place; Jacy Alsup, Gravette, Ark., third place; Lauren Adcock, Moweaqua, Ill., fourth place; and Sarah Wogan, Hebron, Ohio, fifth place. They also received a monetary award and a silver Revere bowl.

Three judges evaluated their performance, and exhibitors' show animals were chosen by random selection. Competitor scores are based on skill, ability to follow instructions, use of equipment, courtesy, sportsmanship and general appearance. The judges for the event were John Toledo, Visalia, Calif.; Sam Carter, Julesburg, Colo.; John Grimes, Hillsboro, Ohio; and surrogate judge, JoAnn Hausner, Dover, Pa.

Youth can compete only once in the national contest, sponsored by the American Angus Association, the American Angus Auxiliary, the Hamilton James Memorial Fund and Andis® Clippers.

Toledo, a former National Junior Angus Showmanship contestant, said the contest represents the pinnacle of showmanship competitions.

“This stage of a young person's life is extremely critical, and being surrounded by people with similar backgrounds and being raised properly is extremely important,” Toledo said. “The showmanship event ties it all together, and there isn't anything better for a young person to be involved in than the junior Angus program.”

The 48 competitors first qualified at their respective state shows before advancing to the preliminary round at the NJAS, where 15 finalists and seven honorable mentions were announced. Finalists competed in a concluding round two days later.

Other finalists in the top 15, who received a set of Andis® Clippers and $75, include: Matthew Boecker, Bentonville, Ark.; Bryanne Duckett, New Liberty, Iowa; Kyle Anderson, Chrisman, Ill.; Hannah McCabe, Elk City, Kan.; Caleb Sadler, Carlisle, Ky.; James Full, Mount Airy, Md.; Garrett Borgelt, Beemer, Neb.; Justin Bachman, Lancaster, Ohio; Bobby Strecker, Rockbridge Baths, Va.; and Kaley Bockhop, Belmont, Wis.

Juniors who received honorable mention include: Amanda Beth Tresslar, Franklin, Ind.; Ethan Whiteside, Queenstown, Md.; Gabrielle Glenister, Puaski, N.Y.; Katie Bartholomew, Bend, Ore.; Calli Pritchard, Aurora, S.D.; Hannah Wright, Spring City, Tenn.; and Adam Murray, Leesburg, Va.

Visit www.angus.org for more information, including videos, show results and photos. Coverage is also available on the National Junior Angus Association Facebook fan page. Backdrop and candid photos are available for purchase at www.angus.digitaleventsonline.com.

Don't forget to BOOKMARK  
Cattle Today Online!