Gerald Haines from Coshocton County leads his crossbred.

Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s BEST Program set to kick off season

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is excited to kick off the 2020-21 BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) show season with the following sponsoring partners: AgPro Companies and John Deere, Bob Evans Farms, Farm Credit Mid-America, Frazier Farms, M.H. Eby, Inc., Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, D&E Electric – the Young Family, Weaver Leather Livestock, Dickinson Cattle Company, The Folks Printing, Jones Show Cattle and RD Jones Excavating.

BEST is a youth development 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, educational contests and leadership opportunities.

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.

Additionally, there is a separate points division for cattle bred, born and raised in Ohio – the Buckeye Breeders Series (BBS). BBS will replace the former Best of the Buckeye program and will run throughout the BEST show season with increased recognition opportunities for BBS breeders and exhibitors. BBS breeders will be entered in a drawing to win a year’s use of a John Deere gator, sponsored by Ag-Pro Companies and John Deere, and BBS exhibitors will be entered to win a year’s use of an EBY livestock trailer, sponsored by M.H. EBY. The winners will be drawn at the BEST Awards Banquet in May.

All points are tabulated and posted on the association’s website at

As the BEST program prepares to kick off its’ season, the program’s leadership has kept the focus on maintaining a safe and healthy environment. Masks will be required to be worn in all public areas and social distancing will be in place at all shows. Exhibitors may only be accompanied by immediate family members and spectators will be prohibited. In addition, all exhibitors will be required to sign a one-time agreement as an added COVID safety precaution. More information on the program’s COVID safety plan can be found on the OCA website.

Exhibitors must have a $75 family OCA membership to participate in the BEST program or to show at any of the BEST sanctioned shows. A one time $60 per head nomination fee will also be required to be in the BEST program.

The 2020-21 OCA BEST Season is as follows:

  • AGR Alumni Holiday Classic – Circleville, Ohio – December 12-13
  • Scarlet & Gray Midwest Showdown – Springfield, Ohio – January 2-3
  • The Weekend Spectacular – Marion, Ohio – January 16-17
  • Clark County Cattle Battle – Springfield, Ohio – January 30-31
  • DTS Cupid Classic – Springfield, Ohio – February 13-14
  • Holmes County Preview – Millersburg, Ohio – March 6-7
  • Ohio Beef Expo – Columbus, Ohio – March 19-21
  • BEST Awards Banquet – Columbus, Ohio – May 1

The Stockmanship division will be continuing with new competitions for this year. This division of the BEST program provides a pathway for youth to participate in the BEST program without showing an animal. It expands BEST participants’ knowledge of cattle and provides youth with an opportunity to showcase their abilities and talents outside of the show ring.

Registration for the first three Stockmanship competitions will be included with the BEST nomination fee. The last two contests will have additional registration fees. Individuals may sign up for the Stockmanship program at any point throughout the season. Stockmanship participants may sign up for contests on the OCA website.

The following are the 2020-2021 Stockmanship Contests:

  • Public Speaking – held at the Scarlet & Gray Midwest Showdown – Saturday, January 2, 2021
  • Salesmanship – held at the Weekend Spectacular – Saturday, January 16, 2021
  • Fitting Contest – held at the DTS Cupid Classic – Sunday, February 14, 2021
  • Judging Contest – held at the Ohio Beef Expo – Friday, March 29, 2021

Along with shows and competitions, the BEST program takes a focus on cultivating an atmosphere of character and leadership. The program’s annual community service efforts and character trait awards help to develop exceptional leaders in and out of the show ring.

This year’s community service partner is the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio (RMHC). BEST participants are encouraged to collect pop tabs, volunteer at RMHC and participate in the Celebrity Showdown. The Celebrity Showdown will be hosted Friday, January 30, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. at the Champion’s Center in Springfield in conjunction with the Clark County Cattle Battle. All pop tabs collected by BEST participants are turned in at the BEST Awards Banquet where the top collector will be awarded.

OCA and sponsoring partner, Weaver Livestock, have teamed up to recognize individuals that display extraordinary character, no matter their age. Any OCA member, BEST participant or their parents may nominate other cattlemen, breeders and exhibitors for any of the Character Trait awards to be awarded at the end of the nomination period. Character Trait nominations for the 2020-21 season will open at on December 12 and close on April 1, 2021. Nominations will be evaluated by a committee and awarded during the BEST program awards banquet.

ALL cattle being shown 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 to learn more about applying for a farm’s Premise ID before ordering EID tags.

BEST nominations and ALL show entries must be made online at The website is now open for the 2020-21 BEST season. 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.

The program concludes with an annual awards banquet held in May where over 275 awards will be presented valued at over $100,000. All BEST participants that sign up for the program will receive a sign-up gift as a special incentive. Additionally, sponsoring partner, M.H. Eby, awards a lucky BEST participant a one-year use of a livestock trailer at the 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 grooming chute, donated by Weaver Leather Livestock.

For the 2020-21 show schedule or for more information regarding the BEST program, visit or contact the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association at 614-873-6736 or email Be sure to join the OCA BEST Program Facebook group for current updates and information.

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