As usual this time of year, we are getting SO so SO excited for the upcoming Maine-Anjou & Chianina National Jr. Show.
FUN FACT: 2018 will be our SIXTH anniversary as the official photographer of the event!?
We wanted to take some time to catch up with Lindsey Broek, The Voice Editor / Director of Show, Communications & Events for the American Maine-Anjou Association and Andrea Paulson,?Youth Program Director, Show Coordinator & ACJ Editor for the American Chianina Association.
Thank you to both of them for answering our questions, and getting us JAZZED for The Grand Fiesta.
This Junior National has been voted the ?most fun,? what is your association?s philosophy when planning the National Junior Show?
L:?Most fun! When contemplating junior national themes it is really important for us to not lose sight in the fact that we want these kids to have fun, learn and make new friends. We have so many families that travel from all over the country to show, and while it is a cow show, it?s also a lot of their summer vacations and we want to try our best to make it an epic one! We try and have activities for all ages to participate in while they?re there.
A:?When planning the National Junior Show, we are constantly trying to come up with different ideas and activities that the youth in attendance might enjoy – from a water balloon fight to a night at the water park, you never know what we might come up with!?
What can families expect when they arrive at the Fairgrounds in Grand Island?
L:?Since this is our 3rd time in Grand Island families can expect pretty much the same as usual. We will be posting detailed maps for stalling and unloading on both our websites closer to our arrival time in Grand Island.
A:?Families can expect to be greeted by the best Fiesta a cow show has ever offered. From food to friends and family, the fun will be never-ending.
Share some advice for someone attending their first junior national.
L: 1.?Ask questions. Junior national can be a smidge overwhelming on the first trip. I know sometimes people may feel like they?re bothering us by calling in the office and asking questions, but that is not the case! We LOVE questions and are always happy to help. Believe it or not, we were once those same people and we probably even asked the same questions. It?s also a great way for us to get to know you and your family and that?s one of the best parts of being a youth director, the people we get to work with everyday.
2.?Get to know your state advisor. They can be a great asset at the show and they?re also happy to help! In addition to the activities at the junior nationals, many states do things amongst themselves and they?re your ?on the ground? contact at the show. It?s a great way to meet new people from your state as well.
A:?The AJCA Junior Board is unanimous in a response to this one – GET INVOLVED. Whether you spend time talking with your neighbors across the aisle, or participate in quiz bowl, the best way to have an awesome first junior national is to reach out to those around you and attend the various different activities throughout the day. ?
The AJMAA & AJCA both do a great job of including juniors of all ages. What do you have planned this year to involve even the tiniest of the ?littles?? And the older exhibitors?
L:?We love our littles! Since the neither one of us have a minimum age, we thought it would be important to sort of ramp up our novice program. This year we have added 3 days with of activities that are geared just for those kids that are 8 years old and young. They will be on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon and will include things like cookie decorating, crafts, coloring and more! We know we have a lot of families that travel to our event with younger siblings who may not be showing so this program was also designed with those kiddos in mind. Some other fun things planned are Willow Springs Cattle Co., has graciously rented out the Island Oasis Water Park the night of opening ceremonies. Starting at 8 p.m. the water park will be open to only exhibitors/participants of the Maine/Chi junior national! Whoop! We also have the ADM Sponsored ?Get Drenched? afternoon on Thursday. Dunk tank and 5,000 water balloons. Come one, come all!
A:?This year we have expanded the novice activities to allow the littlest of littles to be included in junior nationals – every afternoon their will be an activity for the novices to participate in, as well as spend time getting to know each other. Older exhibitors can look forward to all the activities that have come to be expected at Junior Nationals – contests, shows and camaraderie.?
Which event are you looking forward to the most?
L:?It?s pretty hard for me to pick just one. I love this show so much and it is something that we work the whole year towards so I?m not sure I could pick anything specific. I think my favorite part as a whole is just the people. We?re so fortunate that we?re a close knit group and it?s like one big family.
A:?I always look forward to the champion heifer drives. The competition is always tough, and the exhibitors are on their A-game to get their animal presented to the best of their ability. ?
Outside of the show ring, I enjoy watching members work together in the team fitting competition to get an animal ready to the best of their ability. The team work and skill junior members display throughout this competition is second to none!?
Can you share a little bit about the judges for each show?
L:?Our judges this year are Dave Duello and Jack Ward for the show portion and Dan and Dawn Kelley for Showmanship. We?re feel very fortunate to have them and are looking forward to them being with us. Here is the breakdown of what they?re judging:
Dave Duello – Steers, Fullbloods, Bred & Owned MaineTainer Females and Owned High Females
Jack Ward – Maine-Anjou & MaineTainer Bulls, Maine-Angus, Bred and Owned High Females and Owned MaineTainer Females
Dan & Dawn Kelley – Showmanship
A: We’ll have more info on each judge available at the show, but we’ll think you will see some familiar faces in the ring and on the mic.
Bruce & Amie Stertzbach -?Owned Chianina
Scott Werning -?Bred & Owned Chianina
Sheila and Brooke Jensen -?Showmanship?
Anything else you want the everyone attending the show to keep in mind as they plan for The Grand Fiesta in Grand Island?
L:?That we are glad they chose our junior national to come to and we?re happy to help, so please, ask questions! We do our best to provide as much information as possible, but we also love to talk to our participants and get to know them. And this is going to be the best one yet! Ole!
A:?There?s truly something fun for everyone the week of junior nationals – make sure to check the schedule and participate in all the activities. I look forward to seeing everyone and meeting all the new faces there!