The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s BEST program will get underway for 2011-2012 with the Heart of It All Show to be held Thanksgiving weekend on Nov. 26 and 27 in Lima. The program is proud to announce its sponsoring partners for the new show season: Bob Evans Farms, Burroughs Frazier Farms, Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, Green Oak Farms, M.H. Eby, Inc. and the Ohio Farm Bureau.
“BEST sponsors know they are helping develop the next generation of leaders with their support of the BEST program. Their tremendous support has allowed the program to continue to flourish during a time when many other programs are forced to downsize. We truly appreciate their partnership in this important youth development effort,” said Dave Felumlee, OCA President.
Program requirements are that only Ohio residents who are eight years old as of Jan. 1, 2012, but not older than 21 years of age as of Jan. 1, 2012, are eligible to participate in the program. To be eligible for OCA BEST points and awards, juniors or the junior’s family must be a current member of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. OCA memberships are $60 a year and are family memberships, so if more than one young person within a family participates in the BEST program, only one membership is required. A nomination fee is also required for each animal a junior enters in the BEST program. The one-time $30 nomination fee allows the animal to accumulate points at any OCA BEST sanctioned show.
As part of its mission to continue to support the youth of Ohio’s beef industry, the BEST program will continue the Novice division to encourage new program participants by providing them with a less competitive environment for their first or second year of program involvement. The Novice Division is for inexperienced youth of BEST eligible age who are nominating a BEST animal for the first or second time. The awards for this division will be based on the final Novice points standings and will be presented to the top 10 heifers and top 10 steers and the grand and reserve grand Novice showman from each of the four showmanship age divisions.
An additional level of support for the BEST program is made possible by the BEST Boosters Club. Farms, businesses or individuals can become BEST Boosters for $150. BEST Boosters will be recognized at all shows and be listed on the OCA website.During last year’s program BEST youth participated in a community service project to provide funding for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. BEST participants collected over 1,100 pounds of pop tabs at cattle shows held throughout Ohio. These pop tabs were redeemed to provide funds to support lodging for the families of sick children at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House. The BEST program will continue the pop tab collection community service project for 2011-2012.
The BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) program is a youth development program, established in 1999 and coordinated by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA). The program recognizes Ohio’s junior beef exhibitors through a series of sanctioned steer and heifer shows held throughout Ohio that include showmanship competitions. Juniors who participate in these sanctioned shows earn points for their placings. The BEST program provides youth education and leadership development opportunities through program components that include cattle shows, educational sessions, leadership conferences, video and photography competitions and collegiate scholarships. The program concludes with an annual awards banquet held in June.
Watch a video about the BEST program.