Show's focus is all about youth
By Jean Caspers-Simmet
Date Modified: 09/25/2012 10:44 AM
WEST UNION, Iowa — The focus will be on youth at the Youth Dairy Classic, which will be Sept. 16 on the Fayette County fairgrounds at West Union.
"The Youth Classic invests in youth who are the future leaders, educating them while they are participating so that they are more prepared when they start their careers in the agricultural industry," said Katie Steinlage, who organizes the show.
Steinlage was an exhibitor when she was growing up in West Union and was asked to take over the show in 2009 when she was a student at Northeast Iowa Community College at Calmar.
"At first I was hesitant because it would be another big thing on my plate, but after I had gone through the first show I realized how big and youth oriented I could make it," Steinlage said.
She changed the focus from ribbons and trophies to prizes and premiums.Growth, reproduction and production awards have always been part of it.
"That sets us apart from other youth shows," Steinlage said.
Last year every exhibitor received a rope halter. This year they will get show harnesses.
"Every kid is a winner, and they should go home with something," Steinlage said. "We want the show to be fun and memorable so that they'll come back next year."
Trans Ova will provide a certificate for an invitro fertilization cycle to both the Supreme Grand Champion and Supreme Junior Champion. A show box also will be awarded. North Fayette FFA donates a show stand and other miscellaneous prizes. Steinlage buys other prizes including clippers and show halters with other donations.
An exhibitor award has been added. The judges are secret and exhibitors are evaluated on their willingness to help younger youth, respect in the show ring and enthusiasm.
The Youth Dairy Classic show is on Sunday so that young people can participate in school activities, Steinlage said. Exhibitors bring their cattle on Saturday. Two show rings ensure that the show is completed by early afternoon. Judges are David Koss of Epworth and Scott Metzger.
Last year's show attracted 62 exhibitors and 162 animals. This year Steinlage is hoping for 80 exhibitors. The all-breeds show is open to any youth ages 9 to 19 years as of Jan. 1, 2012. There are no geographic limitations.
The State FFA Dairy Judging Contest will be at 11 a.m. Sept. 15 and is held in conjunction with the Youth Dairy Classic. Following the FFA competition, youth will tour the Scott and Jeannie Adams family's Adaway Dairy at Waucoma. The Adams recently installed a DeLaval robotic milking system. After the dairy farm tour, a pizza party is planned for exhibitors.
Steinlage, 22, is a senior at Iowa State University where she is majoring in dairy science and minoring in entrepreneurial studies. She did the interview by phone from Kansas where she was being inducted in the American Royal Scholars Program.
Steinlage's mother, Mary Roach, helps with the secretarial work associated with the show. The Allamakee County Extension office has been very helpful throughout the years and the Fayette County Extension Office is assisting this year. There are also 10 to 20 people who help on the Saturday and Sunday of the show.
Steinlage has gotten past exhibitors Cameron Hall, Brad Arthur, Katie and Joey Adams and Chelsey Fagle involved, and hopes to draw in more.
"I'm very grateful to all the sponsors and to the people who support the show," Steinlage said.
For more information , contact Katie Steinlage at (563) 422-0190 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.