This year while on the show road we have been asking event attendees just what they value at junior nationals. So far after four events this year, four topics have risen to the top of everyone’s list.
Don’t Compare Apples to Oranges
Exhibitors overwhelmingly responded saying that while they love watching the cow/calf pair show, they think they should be kept separate from showing with the heifers. In some cases, there isn’t even a grand champion heifer selected. It can be confusing when cow/calf pairs compete against the heifers; it’s a lot like comparing apples to oranges.
Beat the Heat
We all know that weather is not predictable, sometimes junior nationals are mild and sometimes they are miserably hot. From the feedback we received, air conditioning was one of the highest priorities for exhibitors. AC is a must in all show rings, and south of the Midwest it is definitely desired in the barns. A cool barn helps keep all the families and cattle more comfortable, and in turn helps keep the overall morale of exhibitors high. Extreme heat can impact the turnout of the event and can majorly disrupt breeding programs from heifers slipping calves. A hot barn can ruin an otherwise great event very quickly.
Location is Key
Each year, it’s exciting to find out the location of next year’s event. Families said that they want variety in locations so they can experience different cultures, but not at the expense of breed participation. It can cause stress on families and cattle if their breed picks a random location too far away from the majority of its membership.
We look forward to getting more feedback as we continue our summer on the road. If you would like to share your thoughts with us, email [email protected], and tell us what you love about junior nationals and what you would like to see implemented.