Even as you read this crews are beginning to turn the west pavilion of the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis into a show barn and inviting setting for the premier beef preview event of the year across the Midwest. Pen assignments are being handed out, and young people and their supervisors are mulching down show rings and sale rings for the activity which will begin to unfold this Friday. The show runs through Sunday.
Members of the Franklin FFA Chapter will show up each day, first getting the show rings ready, then assisting Bob Bishop and his crew as they put together another stellar show. The FFA members will do everything from drive skid-steer loaders, fork mulch, wet down the rings and even put up Christmas decorations today to weighing cattle on Friday, and assuming their positions with scoop shovels as the 'pooper scooper's during the show. Bishop, the manager of the event, hails from Leesburg. The event is officially sponsored by the Indiana Beef Cattle Association.
Some 1,500 head of steers and heifers are expected to be shown during this weekend. Four rings will be active, either with breed shows or showmanship contests during the event. In addition, tow sale rings located near the south end of the barn will be busy, as various sales offer families the opportunity to purchase show calves, or perhaps pick up a heifer to add to their herd.
Meanwhile, exhibitors occupy most of the space at the very north end of the pavilion. They will be offering their wares and services to exhibitors, their families, and those who come to watch.
By the end of today, some 20 truckloads of mulch will have been placed in the four rings, two sale rings, and certain aisles where cattle traffic will be heavy. Some of the cattle are housed next door to the main building. That's because the number of cattle coming to the show are more than will fit in the west pavilion, since it also houses the show and sale rings.The show will run until approximately 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. The activities conclude on Sunday by 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Website maintained by the Indiana Beef Cattle Association.