Beef Expo celebrates 30 years this week

The Ohio Beef Expo is celebrating its 30th anniversary and the incredible success of the event March 17 to 19 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus.

The Ohio Beef Expo is coordinated by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) and includes a kickoff social, breed sales, shows and displays, an educational seminar, and a highly competitive junior show. The breed cattle sales will be Saturday, March 18 in the Voinovich building, starting at 10:00 a.m. Prior to the first lot selling, A Tribute to 30 years of the Ohio Beef Expo will take place in Sale Ring 2 with Angus, Hereford, Maine-Anjou, Shorthorn and Simmental cattle selling afterward.

“It is an exciting year and we are looking forward to some changes we are making,” said Pam Haley, Beef Expo co-chair. “We are going to have an opening ceremony on Saturday morning at 9:30 in Sale Ring 2 right before the Hereford Sale. We’re inviting some dignitaries and friends of our industry and show them what we are doing at this event.”

The youth day events, including the judging contest and Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) sessions, will move to a new day and be held on Friday, March 17.

“We’ve moved our judging contest from Saturday to Friday to try and bring in more FFA students and allow them to use their school time instead of bringing their coaches in on Saturday,” Haley said. “We’re going to move that over to the Denny Hale Arena outside of the hog barn for the State Fair. We can access our breed cattle a little more to give the kids more variety of animals to judge. We have a new judging team coach at OSU, Hank LeVan, and he is ironing out the details.”

The trade show has become a perennially popular attraction and is as big as ever.

“Our trade show is sold out. It is one of our big draws and we have a waiting list for that and it is a second-to-none type of event. We have unbelievable breed sales and shows and we have the biggest junior show in the state of Ohio that happens on Sunday,” Haley said. “We are changing a couple of things to make it a little more user-friendly and we are always trying to make things a little better.”

OCA members and Expo exhibitors are invited to attend The Social, sponsored by Merial, on Thursday evening, March 16, at the Expo headquarters hotel, Crowne Plaza North. The kickoff event will auction items for OCA’s PAC fund such as a one-of-a-kind copper kettle donated by the Crawford County Cattlemen’s Association. Other items to sell in a live auction at The Social are the original painting commemorating the 30th Ohio Beef Expo Anniversary by C.J. Brown. Proceeds from the original painting will go toward a scholarship fund to be awarded to applicants through the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation. 30th Ohio Beef Expo prints will be available for Expo attendees to purchase in C.J. Brown Studio’s booth in the trade show, as well as the OCA membership booth. Proceeds from each print sold will also benefit the scholarship fund.

Friday, March 17 will mark the official start of the Expo with registration for the judging contest now taking place in the Voinovich building’s upper mezzanine. Contest participants will meet at 8:00 a.m. for registration. The breed shows and parades will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Evans Cattle Company Arena (Cooper) and O’Neill buildings. At 10:00 a.m. cattlemen can attend an educational seminar “Top 6 Ways to be Successful and Profitable with Cattle in Ohio.” All cattlemen are invited to attend the session sponsored by United Producers, Inc. At noon youth are invited to attend a fitting demonstration in the Voinovich building. The online feeder cattle sale will be held on Friday at 1:30 p.m. As the sale takes place, judging contest awards will be presented at 2:30 p.m. and then youth can attend a BQA session at 3:30 p.m. before heading to the junior show welcome party at 5:30 p.m. and hearing from representatives with Weaver Leather Livestock for a cattle care demonstration. Expo attendees can also visit the trade show with over 125 vendors from 18 states that offer products and services beneficial to all cattlemen.

Breed sale catalogs will be posted online at www.ohiobeefexpo.com as they become available. The junior showmanship competition will begin at noon on Saturday with over 400 participants competing for top honors in their respective divisions.

On Sunday, March 19 junior exhibitors will begin showing at 8:00 a.m. in the Evans Cattle Company Arena (Cooper). New this year, OCA will be offering 10 $50 coupons to be used on Sunday only with any vendor in the trade show. Coupons will be awarded to individuals that share an OCA Facebook post promoting the three-day trade show set to launch on March 1.

Download the Ohio Beef Expo app. Available for both iPhones and Androids, the Ohio Beef Expo app provides a complete list of trade show exhibitors, breed shows, seedstock sales, junior shows and educational events. The app also allows users to search for activities, view schedules, download sale catalogs and receive exclusive mobile alerts.

More than 30,000 visitors from 25 states and Canada routinely attend the Ohio Beef Expo. It is ranked as one of the top five largest events in central Ohio and is the premier location to meet Ohio’s cattle producers. Visit www.ohiobeefexpo.com for more information.

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