Two smiling men, Steve Gunn, Greensburg, and Bob Bishop, Leesburg, are happy about their long-time involvement with the Hoosier Beef Congress. The 25th annual event was held last weekend. Some 1,600 show and sale cattle made their way through the Beef barn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.
Gunn and Bishop have decided to step down from their roles in the event, and let others make their mark on the next 25 years. Gunn served as the committee chairman of the Indiana Beef Cattle Association in charge of the event. Bishop has been in charge of the junior show for 20 years. It's the junior preview show which has made the Hoosier Beef Congress a happening event for the past 25 years.
"There have been many, many volunteers involved to make this happen," Gunn says. "It started out of a desire to bring the commercial beef industry and purebred breeders closer together in this state. We've made a lot of progress in that area."
Both believe that one key to making the youth show successful was that from the start, it was limited to only exhibitors living in Indiana. It also became a winter weekend getaway for many, and a chance to get their calves broke and prepared. Most of these cattle will be exhibited at county fairs next summer.
"We originally thought about holding it in the spring, but for various reasons, we ended up in December," Gunn says. "Looking back, I think it was the perfect choice."
Everyone who shows or exhibits at the Hoosier Beef Congress must be a member or associate member of the Indiana Beef Cattle Association. Most youth that exhibit are members via a family membership. "If they're going to be a part of this event and take advantage of what we're doing, we feel like they should belong," Gunn says. "It's worked out very well."
From the start, Bishop says he did it for the kids. His son was killed in an unfortunate accident many years ago, and he and his wife have dedicated their lives to helping other youth in as many ways possible in his honor.
"I always told them that if things thing got to where it wasn't for the kids, I was out of here," Bishop says,.
It didn't. He stayed for two decades. Congratulations to the vision and supervision of these leaders, and what they did for the livestock industry in Indiana.