The Ohio Cattlemen’s BEST Program Begins 17th Year


From Katie Gossett - Ohio Cattlemen’s Association



(MARYSVILLE, Ohio) – The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is pleased to announce the 2015-16 BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) program sponsoring partners that include Bob Evans Farms, Burroughs Frazier Farms, Farm Credit Mid-America, M.H. Eby, Inc., Ohio Farm Bureau and Weaver Livestock. BEST is a youth program of OCA that recognizes Ohio’s junior beef exhibitors for participation and placings through a series of sanctioned cattle shows that include showmanship competitions. Juniors who participate in these sanctioned shows earn points for their placings. Points are tabulated for cattle, showmanship, registered Bred & Owned animals and first or second year BEST participants in a separate Novice division for market animals, heifers and showmanship. The program promotes consistency for exhibitors at sanctioned shows hosted by county associations or agricultural groups and clubs. These points are tabulated and posted at www.ohiocattle.org.

New for 2015-16: ALL cattle entering Ohio to show in a BEST sanctioned show MUST be tagged with an electronic identification (EID) ear tag prior to arriving at their first BEST show. To obtain EID tags, you must obtain a Premise ID number through your state’s Department of Agriculture – Animal Division. Once you have your Premise ID, you can contact your animal health product distributor and purchase EID tags. Visit best.ohiocattle.org to learn more about applying for your farm’s Premise ID before ordering EID tags.

The BEST program is pleased to announce the newest division to this year’s schedule – a miniature breeds division! The new breed addition will require miniature breeds being shown in the BEST program to be registered by their respective association and to meet their breed’s national junior show breed eligibility requirements. The miniature breeds division will show all eligible miniature cattle together in a single division. For example, Miniature Herefords and Lowline cattle will compete in the same heifer class by age and steers will compete in their market class by their recorded height or weight at check-in.

As the BEST program prepares to kick off its’ 17th year on Thanksgiving weekend, the program’s volunteer leadership has kept the focus on continuing a family-friendly atmosphere. User-friendliness is always the first priority when any decisions are made for the program. In recent years, BEST participants have been able to utilize an online BEST nomination system to eliminate paperwork at shows. After receiving great feedback, the committee was encouraged to proceed with the development of additional software program efficiencies that will include the following.

BEST nominations and ALL online show entries must be made at best.ohiocattle.org. User registration and BEST nominations are currently open. Show entries may be made starting on the Monday preceding the weekend of a BEST show through the closure of check-in at each show. Each exhibitor, BEST and non-BEST will need to create a username and password for each exhibitor. Under each username, they will log the cattle that they will be exhibiting for the season. At the first BEST sanctioned show, the animal’s EID tag number will be recorded and will be used to check that animal in at any future BEST show for the 2015-16 show season. Once the participant and animal are entered into the system, show entries must be made prior to each show. Users must log in to enter their cattle prior to each BEST show. Exhibitors may then pay for show entries online with a credit card or they may choose to pay upon arrival at the BEST show. Computers will also be available at each BEST show to facilitate online check-in. Please note that all cattle MUST be entered in the show prior to bringing cattle through check-in. Participants may use their smartphone, tablet or PC and make show entries for BEST shows one week prior to the show.

The program concludes with an annual awards banquet held in May where over 185 awards will be presented valued at over $65,000. All BEST participants that sign up for the program will receive a participant gift as a special incentive. Additionally, sponsoring partner, Eby Trailer, awards one lucky BEST participant the use of a livestock trailer at the end-of-the-year awards banquet. Earn a ticket into the trailer drawing for each time you exhibit a nominated animal at a BEST show.

For the 2015-16 show schedule or for more information regarding the BEST program, visit www.ohiocattle.org or contact the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association at 614-873-6736 or email beef@ohiobeef.org. Be sure to follow OCA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit www.ohiocattle.org for the latest program updates.

From Katie Gossett

Ohio Cattlemen’s Association