Best of the Buckeye Program offers youth opportunities

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MARYSVILLE, Ohio — The Best of the Buckeye Program, hosted by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, in conjunction with the Ohio Beef Expo and the Ohio State Fair, is preparing for its second season.

The program provides Ohio seedstock breeders an additional marketing opportunity, creates a source for moderately priced show steers and heifers by providing a program with awards and prestige, and attracts new participants interested in showing at the Ohio Beef Expo and/or the Ohio State Fair.

Breeders are encouraged to request a Best of the Buckeye logo for use in printed and digital promotion of Best of the Buckeye eligible cattle. Email beef@ohiobeef.org to request the logo.

The Best of the Buckeye program will offer twenty $500 scholarship opportunities for Best of the Buckeye participants to offset the cost of purchasing, raising and exhibiting a Best of the Buckeye nominated calf.

Scholarships will be awarded to less-experienced participants, ages 8-21, with consideration given to the applicant’s financial need.

Application material

Scholarship applications can be found at www.ohiocattle.org/best-of-the-buckeye, and will be due Jan. 15. Scholarship recipients will be notified in February.

Academic scholarships will be offered to youth pursuing a post high school degree. Scholarships will be based on academics and extracurricular activities. Eligible Best of the Buckeye participants are high school juniors through 21 years of age, as of Jan. 1, 2015.

Academic scholarships will be awarded to participants pursuing an Ag related degree and may be awarded to applicants who are entering a non-Ag related field of study (based on the number of applications).

All scholarship applicants will also be required to submit an essay along with their scholarship application. The scholarship essay topic will be predetermined and posted on the OCA website. The scholarship deadline will be June 15  and scholarships will be presented at the Ohio State Fair.

Funding available

The Best of the Buckeye program will recognize top-placing Ohio bred, born and registered calves, along with the breeder and exhibitor, in each breed division at the two shows.

Thanks to sponsors, $45,000 will be given through premiums at each show, scholarships and awards.

This year’s sponsors are Green Oak Farms, heifer division; Steve R. Rauch, steer division; and Franklin Equipment, scholarship.

For cattle to be eligible for the Best of the Buckeye program, they must be registered and bred by an Ohio cattleman and born in state. ET Calves and calves out of purchased bred cows are eligible if they were born in Ohio and list an Ohio cattleman as the breeder.

Breeders and exhibitors must be OCA members and in good standing with OCA to be eligible. Exhibitors must be Ohio residents and meet the age requirements for the Ohio Beef Expo and Ohio State Fair junior shows.

To participate in Best of the Buckeye, breeders must complete a nomination form (each form can be used to nominate up to five animals from the same breeder) and sign an affidavit verifying Best of the Buckeye eligibility.

Nomination forms

The breeder or exhibitor may submit the nomination forms and fee for the Best of the Buckeye nominations. Cattle that are nominated prior to the Ohio Beef Expo by March 1, 2015, and prior to the Ohio State Fair by June 20,  will incur a $25 per head nomination fee per show.

Cattle may be nominated for both shows by March 1, for a rate of $40. Breeders will have the opportunity to nominate cattle through check-in at the Ohio Beef Expo and at the Ohio State Fair at an increased late nomination fee of $75 per head.

Best of the Buckeye exhibitor rules, last year’s show results and additional nomination details are available at www.ohiocattle.org/best-of-the-buckeye or by contacting the OCA office.

For more information, contact the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association at 614-873-6736, email beef@ohiobeef.org.

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