(Indianapolis, IN) – The first pitch is about to be held in Indiana for the so-called World Series of Cattle Showing.
The 36thth The annual Hoosier Beef Congress is held December 2-4 at the Indiana State Fairground in Indianapolis.
More than 860 people have signed up to show a variety of male and female breeds in the competition, which is limited to contestants ages 8 to 21, said Joe Moore, executive vice-president of the Indiana Beef Cattle Association.
The IBCA holds what is reputedly the largest single-state young cattle show in the United States
“It’s an action-packed weekend,” said Moore.
Moore said the show at the Expo Center at the fairgrounds is limited to IBCA members and their calves, which were primarily born in the spring.
Approximately 1,200 young cattle ranging from Red Angus, Shorthorn to Miniature Herford and crossbreeds are kept in stables in the Riding Horse Stables and West Pavilion that are reserved for competition.
There will also be a heifer and market animal sale for physical and online bidders at the competition, along with a trade show featuring around 50 vendors selling things like feed and equipment.
Western clothing and hats are among the other items available for purchase.
“A lot is manual labor. People do a lot of early Christmas shopping through our show at the Hoosier Beef Congress,” he said.
Moore said bidders at the show are typically breeders looking to improve their herds through genetics.
Other bidders are looking for a calf to show during the competition before taking it home for training to compete again at other events.
Moore said the show was popular from the start in a state where much of the cattle was raised for breeding or shipped to Texas and other major beef-producing states like Nebraska for refinement.
Indiana ranks 36thth in the nation for livestock production, according to USDA.
Moore said money and other prizes are awarded to the winners, who often begin to appear on breeders’ radar screens when they show an award-winning calf.
“People pay a lot of money for eggs from these heifers that do well,” he said.
He said the event is also a chance for juniors on the show to hone their skills, build reputation and gain exposure.
Some of the winners will later be featured in national magazines.
“There’s a lot of publicity that comes with it,” he said.
There is no entry fee for the 4,000 or more people expected to attend the three-day event.
Entrants will be charged an entry fee of $125 per animal or $200 for any late registration.
Moore said the event generates a profit but is not really a fundraiser for the IBCA given the relatively low profit margin once expenses are paid.
“It’s an expensive event for us. We’re just trying to cover the cost for ourselves and offering that to the kids,” he said.
For a full schedule of activities and other events, visit hoosierbeefcongress.com.
The Indiana Beef Cattle Association is a voice for the concerns of Hoosier beef producers at the state and federal levels.
IBCA is also active in promoting the beef industry in other ways, such as serving 30,000 ribeye steaks from a tent at the Indiana State Fair with the help of volunteer producers.
The Indianapolis-based group hosts various Field Days throughout the year to educate beef producers on the latest in areas such as technology and an annual gathering for members.
“IBCA can do things that a single person cannot. Whether it’s promoting beef or representing growers on legal issues, the IBCA works to give individual consumers a voice while safeguarding the beef supply,” said Bruce Lamb, a Milford beef producer and past president of the organization.