Volunteers are the key to success of Beef Expo

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Beef Expo will bring beef producers from across Ohio and the country together March 15-17 in Columbus. The Farm and Dairy interviewed Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Executive Director Elizabeth Harsh about what this year’s event has planned.

What’s new at this year’s Ohio Beef Expo?

The event gets bigger and bigger every year. Producers will have more to take in and learn. The trade show space is sold out and, for the first time ever, the outdoor trade show is also completely filled.
The breed numbers are up at least by 25 head in every breed. There will be 14 breeds at the show. Seven of the breeds will hold sales on Saturday and the other seven will be viewed in displays.
The breeds to be on display include: Angus, Beefalo, Charolais, Chianina, Gelbvieh, Hereford, Limousin, Lowline, Maine-Anjou, Miniature Hereford, Murray Grey, Piedmontese, Shorthorn and Simmental.
Harsh said she expects the breed sales to be strong given the cattle market prices this year.
In addition, there is a new computer application available for smartphone users. The app will allow attendees to see the latest happenings and share alerts.”It’s everything you need at your fingertips,” Harsh said.

After celebrating 25 years of the Ohio Beef Expo last year, how do you keep it fresh?

“The key to it is a great group of volunteers,” Harsh said.
She added that the volunteers, combined with staff and the Ohio Beef Expo leadership, make the show what is.
Another highlight Harsh shared was that the premiums awarded during the junior shows is more than what is awarded at any jackpot show across Ohio.
“The Ohio Beef Expo is a great weekend for Ohio’s beef-producing families,” said Harsh.

Do you use what you learn from years past to reinvent the Ohio Beef Expo?

We have learned to change things through the years after hearing feedback from the Ohio Beef Expo.
One example is with the breed shows. Buyers who attend the show with trailers now have a parking area just for them.
“Flexibility gives them the ability to park right on grounds and load up easily,” said Harsh.
What is different about this year’s breed shows?

One new show has been added to the list for 2013. This year there will be a beefalo show at the Ohio Beef Expo.And the Murray Grey breed will hold its national show at the Ohio Beef Expo.
“This shows that Ohio does have a large number of Murray Grey cattle,” said Harsh.
Other shows that are growing in interest are the Miniature Herefords and the Lowline Angus breeds.
“People are making plans to come down to the Ohio Beef Expo to look at those breeds,” said Harsh.

What will never change about the Ohio Beef Expo?

“The blend of the show will never change,” said Harsh.
She said the Junior Show, the trade show, breed shows and breed sales combining are what makes the event something beef producing families can’t miss. The combination of events ensures there is something for everyone during the weekend.
Harsh said that is what makes the Ohio Beef Expo, the Ohio Beef Expo.
“Leadership realizes the success is the blend.  All of the pieces are what makes it a success,” said Harsh.

About the Author

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fosterk96. More Stories by Kristy Foster Seachrist

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