50 head of cattle and nearly 100 sheep were shown by competitors in the Third Annual Buena Vista University Livestock Show Classic hosted by the BVU Institute for Agriculture last Saturday and Sunday, June 4th and 5th.
“We had competitors from throughout Iowa and into South Dakota and Minnesota,” says Mike Christen, Land Manager serving BVU’s Agricultural Experiment Station and Coach for the BVU livestock show team. “With two to four people accompanying each show animal, it meant that we had a sizeable contingent of visitors here showing their livestock and getting know a little more about ag opportunities at BVU.”
Ag students at BVU worked with Christen and BVU Director of Agriculture Rich Crow (pictured above) in organizing and staffing both shows.
“From setting up on Friday, before the show, to cleaning out all the pens after the last class on Sunday, there were a lot of lessons learned that we’ll use for many future shows,” says Katrina Todd, a sophomore agriculture education major from Holstein who has showed livestock in a number of shows. Todd is also a member of the BVU livestock show team.
“You never realize how much work goes on behind the scenes when you are the one showing,” she adds.
BVU senior Maggie Albert, who raises and shows steer, took on role of ring announcer at the event, which was held at the Buena Vista County Fairgrounds.
“I love running shows and being able to bring people to Alta and Storm Lake to help them see what BVU’s Institute for Agriculture is doing,” Albert says. “Having our own livestock show team at BVU helps put us in touch with more people who are showing livestock competitively in open shows, 4-H, and through FFA.”
Albert, an animal science major from Hartley, came to BVU in 2019 as the Institute for Agriculture was taking off. One year later, BVU added the AES, where Albert has spent time tending to show cattle. In 2021, BVU’s livestock show team began competing, allowing Albert to continue participating in one of her passions.
“I was excited as a freshman to have a new ag program,” she says. “Two year later with the advent of our livestock show team, it was an opportunity I wasn’t going to pass up.”
Christen says the timing of the BVU Open Livestock Show works well with families who are readying for county fairs and, eventually, the Iowa State Fair.
“Our show comes at a time in early June when people want to get these animals out and accustomed to the show ring before their county fair,” Christen says. “For some of the kids involved in our show, it might have been the first time they’ve competed in front a judge in that kind of a setting. It’s a great place for them to start.”