Ohio Cattlemen’s Association accepting Best of the Buckeye nominations

Ohio seedstock breeders are encouraged to take advantage of an enhanced marketing opportunity through the Best of the Buckeye program beginning in the 2014 show season, hosted by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) in conjunction with the Ohio Beef Expo and the Ohio State Fair.

The Best of the Buckeye program will recognize top-placing Ohio bred, born and registered calves, along with the breeder and exhibitor, in each breed division at the two shows. Thanks to generous sponsors, $45,000 will be presented during 2014 in the form of premiums at the two shows, scholarships and awards. This year’s sponsors are Green Oak Farms, heifer division; Steve R. Rauch, steer division; and Franklin Equipment, scholarship division.

The program was formed to provide Ohio seedstock breeders an additional marketing opportunity, create a source for moderately priced show steers and heifers by providing a program with awards and prestige, and to attract new participants interested in showing at the Ohio Beef Expo and/or the Ohio State Fair.

Eligible nominations for Best of the Buckeye are registered cattle that were calved in Ohio. ET calves and calves out of purchased bred heifers or cows are eligible if they were purchased from an in-state breeder and calved in Ohio. Breeders and exhibitors must be OCA members and in good standing with OCA to be eligible. Exhibitors must an Ohio resident and meet the age requirements for the Ohio Beef Expo and Ohio State Fair junior shows.

To be nominated, cattle must be registered and the breeder of the registered animal must pay a one-time per animal nomination fee. Cattle that are nominated prior to the Ohio Beef Expo by Jan. 15, 2014, and prior to the Ohio State Fair by June 20, 2014, will incur a $25 per head nomination fee. Breeders will have the opportunity to nominate cattle through check-in at the Ohio Beef Expo and at the Ohio State Fair at an increased nomination fee of $50 per head. Breeders must complete a nomination form and sign an affidavit verifying Best of the Buckeye eligibility. Completed early entry nomination forms may be returned to the OCA office. Nomination forms can be found on the OCA website at www.ohiocattle.org/best-of-the-buckeye or by contacting OCA. Animals nominated for Best of the Buckeye will also need to be entered in the Ohio Beef Expo and Ohio State Fair junior shows.

The Best of the Buckeye program will offer 20 $500 scholarships for Best of the Buckeye participants to offset the cost of purchasing, raising and exhibiting a Best of the Buckeye nominated calf and awarded based on show experience and need. These scholarships are available to participants of all ages, whether they are looking for financial assistance to get started in showing cattle or a more experienced showman who has a need to help offset the cost of a steer or heifer project. Best of the Buckeye participant scholarship applications are due Dec. 2, 2013. Applications are available online at www.ohiocattle.org/best-of-the-buckeye  and scholarship recipients will be notified in January 2014.

Academic scholarships will also be offered to high school juniors and seniors pursuing a post-high school degree. Selection will be based on academics and extracurricular activities, and all scholarship applicants will be required to submit an essay along with their scholarship application. The scholarship essay topic will be predetermined and posted on the OCA website in the spring. The scholarship deadline will be June 15, 2014 and they will be presented at the Ohio State Fair.

Best of the Buckeye exhibitor rules along with additional nomination details are available at www.ohiocattle.org/best-of-the-buckeye or by contacting the OCA office. For more information, contact the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association at 614-873-6736, email beef@ohiobeef.org.

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