(HUTCHINSON) – The Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS) got its start in November 1933, drawing 500 exhibitors and more than 1,000 head of livestock to the Wichita Forum. Since then, the 90-year-old event has stayed true to its heritage by continuing to be the largest youth livestock show in the state. This year, more than 700 exhibitors entered 1,422 animals in the show, which was held September 30 – October 2 in Hutchinson.
Ty Wood from Leavenworth County led the grand champion market steer, a 1,420 lb. crossbred entry. His steer bested a field of 98 in the show, which was sponsored by Merck Animal Health. Pre-determined cash premiums were awarded to the top five animals in both the market and breeding shows for all four species. Wood received a $4,000 premium for his steer. The reserve champion steer, weighing 1,447 lbs., came from the Charolais division and was owned by Rilee McGraw of Finney County, who received a $2,000 premium for her steer. Third overall, worth $1,000, went to the reserve champion crossbred steer owned by Dax Seibert from Barton County. Placing fourth overall and earning a $750 premium was the champion Maine-Anjou exhibited by Gracie Karst of Russell County. Fifth went to the champion Hereford steer owned by Kinsley Gillig from Marshall County. Gillig earned $500 for her steer. Torbin Lapean of Johnson County led the reserve champion Charolais steer. Dax Seibert from Barton County entered the reserve champion Maine-Anjou. The reserve champion Hereford steer was exhibited by Cady Pieper of Rooks County. Macey Lewis from Butler County showed the champion Angus steer, with Keiara McCabe of Osage County owning the reserve. Jody Mead of Reno County exhibited the champion Chianina steer. The reserve Chianina steer was shown by Kylie Fox from McPherson County. The champion Shorthorn was owned by Jansen Gerstner of Marshall County. Danielle Reeves from Jefferson County led the reserve champion Shorthorn. Taylor Nulik of Stevens County showed the champion Shorthorn Plus steer. The reserve champion was led by Macey Lewis of Butler County. The champion Simmental steer was exhibited by Emma Karst of Russell County. Jaylynn Birk from Woodson County showed the reserve champion Simmental. Jarrett Birk of Woodson County owned the champion all-other-breeds (AOB) steer. The reserve was exhibited by Blaine Frost from Jewell County.
Grace Schmeidler of Ellis County led her Angus female to supreme champion honors in the breeding heifer show, sponsored by Merck Animal Health. Schmeidler was awarded a $1,000 premium. Reserve supreme champion, worth a $750 premium, went to a Mainetainer heifer owned by Lauren Aust from Linn County. There were 260 heifers entered in the show. Third overall, which earned $500, went to the champion Hereford heifer shown by Brayson Mayo of Scott County. Jackie Sleichter from Dickinson County showed the fourth overall heifer, which was the champion Percentage Simmental and earned $400. Fifth overall, worth $300, was the champion AOB heifer exhibited by Josie Beltz of McPherson County. The reserve champion in the Angus division was led by Ty Wood from Leavenworth County. Jody Mead of Reno County owned the reserve Mainetainer. The reserve Hereford was shown by Josie Beltz from McPherson County. Cassidy Dalquest from Morris County exhibited the reserve Percentage Simmental heifer. The reserve AOB heifer was owned by Teagan Deyoe of Grant County. The champion Charolais was led by Hayden Englert of Washington County, with the reserve being shown by Josi Schrader from Ottawa County. The champion Charolais Percentage heifer was exhibited by Weston Schrader of Ottawa County. Savannah Ingram from Meade County led the reserve champion. The champion Chianina heifer was shown by Stockton Scott of Montgomery County. Hayden Englert from Washington County owned the reserve champion. Kaycee Brown from Geary County exhibited the champion Gelbvieh/Balancer heifer. The reserve went to an entry from Landon Barnes of Ness County. Tyra Meyer from Lincoln County led the champion Limousin heifer. The reserve was owned by Ashley Schrag from McPherson County. The champion Maine-Anjou heifer was shown by Brek Colantonio of Stevens County. Peyton Baalman from Gove County led the reserve champion. The champion Red Angus heifer was exhibited by Calley Stubbs of Wallace County. Tyree Figge from Pottawatomie County owned the reserve champion. The champion Shorthorn heifer was shown by Carissa Dalquest from Morris County. Grace Meier of Marion County led the reserve champion. Cole Flower from Rooks County exhibited the champion Shorthorn Plus heifer. The reserve was shown by Katie Ruckman of Reno County. The champion Simmental heifer was owned by Baylor Deyoe from Grant County. Weston Schrader of Ottawa County led the reserve Simmental heifer. Jadyn Peterson from Ellis County exhibited the champion commercial heifer. The reserve champion was led by Dustin Denton from Marshall County.
In the senior beef showmanship division, Dustin Denton of Marshall County was champion showman. Reserve went to Josi Schrader from Ottawa County. Finishing out the top five, in placing order, were Jody Mead, Reno County; Rylie Meinhardt, Pottawatomie County; and Weston Schrader, Ottawa County. In the intermediate division, Bradyn Greenwood from Wabaunsee County was named champion showman. Brek Colantonio from Stevens County was reserve. Completing the top five, in order of finish, were Cami Miller, Butler County; Aubree McCurry, Sedgwick County; and Torbin Lapean, Johnson County. The champion showman in the junior division was Josie Beltz of McPherson County. Reserve was awarded to Devyn Frost from Jewell County. Finishing the top five, in placing order, were Hallie Mullen, Grant County; Eli Atkisson, Rooks County; and Corbin Fink, Pottawatomie County.
Abi Lillard of Dickinson County guided her 260 lb. dark crossbred to the grand champion market hog title, which earned her $2,000. A 265 lb. dark crossbred owned by Corbin Fink from Pottawatomie County was reserve grand champion hog of the 135-head show, sponsored by Seaboard Foods. Fink’s hog garnered a $1,500 premium. Third overall, worth $1,000, went to Kyleigh Heikes of Johnson County, with her champion Berkshire. Jenna DeRouchey from Pottawatomie County owned the champion light crossbred that placed fourth overall and earned $750. Fifth overall, earning a $500 premium, was the reserve light crossbred exhibited by Kate Heikes from Johnson County. The reserve Berkshire was shown by Gentry Ward of Miami County. Jenna DeRouchey of Pottawatomie County drove the champion Duroc, with Brett Bonjour from Gray County owning the reserve. The champion Hampshire was guided by Zephry Landoll from Marshall County. Jacob DeRouchey of Pottawatomie County exhibited the reserve Hampshire. The champion Yorkshire went to an entry from Calla Higbie of Franklin County, with reserve exhibited by Brady Hurt of Neosho County. Landon Baetz from Osborne County showed the champion dark AOB barrow. The reserve dark AOB was owned by Kyanna Lankton of Coffey County. The champion light AOB was owned by Gentry Ward of Miami County. Bane Nading from Bourbon County drove the reserve barrow.
An entry from the commercial division, owned by Kate Heikes of Johnson County, was named supreme champion in the 217-head gilt show, also sponsored by Seaboard Foods. Heikes received a $750 premium for the gilt. James DeRouchey from Pottawatomie County exhibited the reserve supreme, a Berkshire gilt worth $600. Third overall and earning $500 was the reserve champion commercial gilt owned by Tucker Goss of Ellsworth County. In fourth was the Berkshire reserve champion, which garnered $350 and was exhibited by Kyser Nemecek from Allen County. Ashley Ward from Miami County guided the fifth overall gilt, which was the champion Yorkshire. The gilt earned a $250 premium. The reserve champion in the Yorkshire division was exhibited by Brady Hurt of Neosho County. Kate Heikes from Johnson County drove the champion Duroc, with Tayte Leck of Wilson County owning the reserve. In the Hampshire division, Colton Appelhanz of Wabaunsee County exhibited the champion gilt. The reserve champion was owned by Calla Higbie from Franklin County. Kyleigh Heikes from Johnson County showed the champion dark AOB gilt, with Lyvia Imler from Wichita County guiding the reserve. The champion light AOB gilt was shown by Taylor Hoskinson, Reno County. Emmalynn Nelson from Butler County owned the reserve light AOB.
Kason Ramsey of Finney County was named champion in senior swine showmanship. The reserve champion was Kyleigh Heikes from Johnson County. Completing the top five, in placing order, were Braeden Grasser, Rice County; Kyser Nemecek, Allen County; and Carly Dreher, Allen County. In the intermediate division, Anah Higbie of Franklin County was awarded the champion title. Reserve was Kate Heikes from Johnson County. Rounding out the top five, in order of finish, were Lilly Wilson, Wabaunsee County; Gentry Ward, Miami County; and Hadley Huseman, Ellsworth County. Ella Smith of Grant County was named champion in the junior division. The reserve champion was Cheyanne Davis from Shawnee County. Completing the top five, in placing order, were Elim Higbie, Franklin County; Korah Wendland, Riley County; and Carson Vering, Marshall County.
Mason Rookstool from Pottawatomie County exhibited the grand champion market lamb, a 165 lb. entry from the blackface division that earned a $2,000 premium. The reserve grand champion market lamb, a 135 lb. blackface, was shown by Raine Garten of Dickinson County. The lamb earned $1,000. Third overall, also from the blackface division, was owned by Kole Harris from Crawford County, and garnered $900. Two more entries from the blackface division took the final top spots, with both fourth and fifth overall being exhibited by Erin Johnson of Butler County. The entries brought $600 and $300, respectively. A total of 222 lambs were shown. The champion Dorset was shown by Emery Yoho from Woodson County. Braxton Young of Lyon County led the reserve. Dally Emig from Dickinson County owned the champion Hair lamb. The reserve was exhibited by Henry Hays of Douglas County. In the Southdown division, Esmeralda Franklin of Linn County owned the champion, with reserve going to an entry from Macey Lewis of Butler County. The champion Speckled lamb was led by Colyer Williams from Reno County. Braxton Young of Lyon County showed the reserve. The market lamb show was sponsored by Cargill.
The supreme registered breeding ewe, garnering a $500 premium, was the champion AOB shown by Brecken Nelson from Greeley County. The reserve supreme champion ewe was the champion Dorset Advantage led by Aidan Cunningham of Miami County who received a $300 premium for the ewe. Third overall, worth $200, was a Dorset ewe owned by Emery Yoho from Woodson County. The champion Hampshire and fourth overall registered breeding ewe, earning $100, was shown by Brynn Boggs from Reno County. Savanna Junek from Ottawa County led the reserve Dorset Advantage, which finished fifth overall and received a $50 premium. The reserve AOB ewe was shown by Caleb Dechant from Sherman County. Morgan Harvey of Butler County led the reserve champion Dorset. The reserve Hampshire ewe was owned by Raine Garten from Dickinson County. The champion Southdown was exhibited by Kirbe Koons of Kearny County. Savanah Emmert from Morton County led the reserve Southdown. The champion ewe from the Suffolk division was owned by Carleigh Abeldt of Dickinson County, with Colten Abeldt from Dickinson County exhibiting the reserve Suffolk. There were 66 head shown.
A ewe led by Raine Garten from Dickinson County bested 139 others to take supreme champion honors in the commercial breeding ewe show. Garten’s ewe garnered a $500 premium. Owning the reserve supreme, worth $400, was Hannah Whetstone from Elk County. The third overall commercial ewe, earning $300, was exhibited by Clay Brillhart of Bourbon County. A ewe led by Mason Rookstool from Pottawatomie County claimed fourth overall and earned $200. Fifth overall was a commercial ewe exhibited by Emery Yoho of Woodson County, who received a $100 premium. Cargill sponsored both breeding ewe shows.
In the senior sheep showmanship division, Emery Yoho from Woodson County was named champion. Reserve champion was Landon Roberts of Marion County. Finishing the top five, in placing order, were Hannah Whetstone, Elk County; Tate Crystal, Bourbon County; and Kodi McComb, Pratt County. Kynlee Dressler of Douglas County took home top honors in the intermediate division. Reserve went to Carter Watson, also from Douglas County. Rounding out the top five, in placing order, were Brynn Boggs, Reno County; Lakyn Rookstool, Pottawatomie County; and Brecken Nelson, Greeley County. In the junior division, Colyer Williams of Reno County was named champion showman. Jentry Palmer of Bourbon County took home reserve. Finishing out the top five, in placing order, were Edward Taylor, Labette County; Laytynn Boggs, Reno County; and Quinlyn Yoho, Woodson County.
Jack Gilliam of Washington County received grand champion honors and a $2,000 premium for his 82 lb. entry in the market goat show, sponsored by Cargill. A total of 159 head was shown. Lakyn Rookstool from Pottawatomie County showed the reserve grand champion market goat, which weighed 92 lbs. and earned $1,000. Third, worth $750, went to a goat shown by Kodi McComb of Pratt County. Reece Ingvoldsen from Cowley County showed the fourth place market goat and earned $500. Fifth overall was an entry from Aidan Yoho of Woodson County that brought $400.
Cedar Caruso from Linn County showed the supreme champion commercial doe. Her entry bested 122 others to claim the honor and earn $750. Jera Schoenfeld of Thomas County exhibited the reserve supreme champion doe, worth $500. Third overall went to an entry from Haylee Lanham of Anderson County, which was worth $400. Chosen for fourth was a commercial doe owned by Kyser Nemecek from Allen County that earned $300. Fifth overall, worth $200, was a doe shown by Kodi McComb of Pratt County. Cargill also sponsored the commercial doe show.
Jera Schoenfeld from Thomas County was the top showman in senior goat showmanship. Erin Johnson of Butler County was reserve. Finishing the top five, in placing order, were Karli Neher, Ellis County; Reese Ingvoldsen, Cowley County; and Kodi McComb, Pratt County. In the intermediate division, Brecken Nelson of Greeley County was champion. Eleanor Thimmesch from McPherson County was awarded reserve. Rounding out the top five, in order of finish, were Maylee Reece, Kearny County; Anna McCurry, Sedgwick County; and Ella Neher, Ellis County. Andrew Morales of Finney County was named champion in the junior division. Graham Williams from Reno County was awarded reserve. Following grand and reserve, in placing order, were Mya Neher, Ellis County; Cannon Vajnar, Ellis County; and Avery Franklin, Reno County.
KJLS presented $20,500 in scholarships to 13 exhibitors. Those receiving $2,000 scholarships were Carissa Dalquest, Morris County; Kaylee Lukert, Wabaunsee County; Nissa Olsen, Riley County; and Weston Schrader, Ottawa County. Five students were awarded $1,500 scholarships, including Kennedy Coffin, Jefferson County; Preston Dunn, Stafford County; Tyree Figge, Pottawatomie County; Ethan Hatfield, Franklin County; and Emily Miser, Chase County. Students receiving $1,250 stipends were Jack Habjan, Leavenworth County; Rachel Hendricks, Elk County; Aaron Morales, Finney County; and Karli Neher, Ellis County. Since the inception of the KJLS scholarship program in 1993, a total of 372 exhibitors have been awarded $531,100.
The LEAD Challenge allows exhibitors to learn about current industry issues and apply that information in a competitive environment. All those entered in the challenge participated in the LEAD Listen & Learn, showmanship, skills stations and interviews. Exhibitors placing first through fifth in the senior division were Lane Higbie, Franklin County; Carley Dreher, Allen County; Ian Dunn, Stafford County; Noah Goss, Ellsworth County; and Kyser Nemecek, Allen County. First through fifth in the intermediate division were, in order of finish, Cami Miller, Butler County; Garrett Dunn, Stafford County; Kealie Bryant, Finney County; Grayson Maxwell, Pawnee County; and Nell Goss, Ellsworth County. In the junior division, first through fifth were Quinn Breiner, Pratt County; Hallie Mullen, Grant County; Addison Maxwell, Pawnee County; Jorja Beeman, Greenwood County; and Elim Higbie, Franklin County.
A team from Texas A&M University (TAMU) won the senior college competition at the Mid-America Classic Judging Contest, held in conjunction with KJLS. Kansas State University placed second. Kyler Vernon with Oklahoma State University was the top scoring senior college individual. He was followed by Logan Jackson with TAMU. Butler Community College won the sophomore division in the junior college contest, with Northern Oklahoma College (NOC) finishing second. High individuals in the junior college sophomore contest were Kale Campbell with NOC in first and Jacob Klaudt with Casper College in second. A team from Redlands Community College (RCC) won the freshman division, while Blinn College placed second. Jack Habjan with RCC outscored all other freshmen. The second place freshman was Lexi Hunt with South Plains College.
In addition to Cargill, Merck Animal Health and Seaboard Foods, other sponsors included Evergy, Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, Friends of KJLS, Huvepharma, ICT Great Plains, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Kansas Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau Financial Services, Kansas State University and the Kansas Livestock Association. In addition to these groups, volunteers from across the state also help organize and put on the show.