Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s BEST Program set to begin 19th year

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is pleased to announce the 2017-18 BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) program sponsoring partners that include Bob Evans Farms; Farm Credit Mid-America; Frazier Farms; Garwood Cattle Company, LLC; Kalmbach Feeds — Formula of Champions; M.H. Eby, Inc. and Weaver Leather Livestock. BEST is a youth program of OCA that recognizes Ohio’s junior beef exhibitors for participation and placings through a series of sanctioned cattle shows that include showmanship competitions. Juniors who participate in these sanctioned shows earn points for their placings. Points are tabulated for cattle, showmanship, registered Bred & Owned animals and first or second year BEST participants in a separate Novice division for market animals, heifers and showmanship. The program promotes consistency for exhibitors at sanctioned shows hosted by county associations or agricultural groups and clubs. These points are tabulated and posted at www.ohiocattle.org.

All cattle entering Ohio to show in a BEST sanctioned show MUST be tagged with an electronic identification (EID) ear tag prior to arriving at their first BEST show. To obtain farm EID tags, exhibitors must first obtain a Premise ID number through the state’s Department of Agriculture — Animal Division. Once the Premise ID is received, contact an animal health product distributor and purchase EID tags. Visit best.ohiocattle.org to learn more about applying for a farm’s Premise ID before ordering EID tags.

As the BEST program prepares to kick off its’ 19th year on Thanksgiving weekend, the program’s volunteer leadership has kept the focus on continuing a family-friendly atmosphere. User-friendliness is always the priority when any decisions are made for the program.

BEST nominations and all online show entries must be made at best.ohiocattle.org. Each exhibitor, BEST and non-BEST) will create a unique user account and record their cattle along with that account. Exhibitors who have participated in the program in previous years are able to keep their existing username and password. Exhibitors may complete this portion of the sign-up process now, and show entries can be made starting on the Monday prior to each BEST show until the closure of check-in at each event. At the first BEST sanctioned show, the animal’s EID tag number will be recorded and will be used to check that animal in at any future BEST show for the 2017-18 show season. Once the participant and animal are entered into the system, show entries must be made prior to each show. Exhibitors may then pay for show entries online with a credit card or they may choose to pay upon arrival at the BEST show. Computers will also be available at each BEST show to facilitate online check-in. Please note that all cattle MUST be entered in the show prior to bringing cattle through check-in. Participants may also use their smartphone, tablet or PC and make show entries.

Beginning this year, OCA and sponsoring partner, Weaver Leather Livestock, have teamed up to recognize individuals that are exceptional leaders, no matter their age. Any OCA member or BEST participant or their parents may nominate other cattlemen, breeders and exhibitors for any of the Character Traits to be awarded at the end of the nomination period. Character Trait nominations for the 2017-18 season will open at www.ohiocattle.org on November 24, 2017 and close on April 1, 2018. Nominations will be evaluated by a committee and awarded during the BEST program awards banquet on May 5, 2018.

The program concludes with an annual awards banquet held in May where over 185 awards will be presented valued at over $65,000. All BEST participants that sign up for the program will receive a participant gift as a special incentive. Additionally, sponsoring partner, M.H. Eby, awards one lucky BEST participant the use of a livestock trailer at the end-of-the-year awards banquet. BEST participants earn a ticket into the trailer drawing for each time they exhibit a nominated animal at a BEST-sanctioned show. First or second year Novice participants are also entered into a novice-only drawing for a showbox, donated by Weaver Leather Livestock.

For the 2017-18 show schedule or for more information regarding the BEST program, visit www.ohiocattle.org or contact the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association at 614-873-6736 or email beef@ohiobeef.org. Be sure to follow OCA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat or visit www.ohiocattle.org for the latest program updates.

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