Two beef producers in charge of a committee to get more involvement in the Indiana beef industry some 25 years ago hit upon an idea that stuck. In fact, their idea has exceeded expectations, and blossomed into the Hoosier Beef Congress. It will celebrate its 25th anniversary Dec. 2 - 4 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.
Jim Gillooly, Washington, and Barry Jordan, Rensselaer, co-chaired a committee of the Indiana Beef Cattle Association that hit upon the idea of a youth show in December, surrounded by other events for youth and adults. The first show in 1987 brought more than 600 head of cattle tot the show. This year, nearly 1,500 head are expected to either go through the show or sale rings at the event.
Nearly 1,400 head were exhibited in the youth show in 2010. It’s become the premier event in the country as a beef preview shows. Families have made it a weekend trip destination for the first weekend in December. It’s also a place to buy calves for next year if you don’t already have show calves or breeding stock lined up for next season.
The show will be managed this year by Bob Bishop, Leesburg. Hundreds of volunteer hours go into making the show work. The Franklin FFA Chapter assists in preparing the four rings and two sale rings used during the three-day event. They also assist with everything from cleaning up after the cattle to weigh-ins to passing out ribbons.
The event is held in the West Pavilion, commonly known as the cattle barn. It’s had a major facelift since the event began in 1987. Still, the Hoosier Beef Congress crew starts with an empty barn on Wednesday before the show and creates a showplace, complete with Christmas decorations and commercial exhibits on one end of the building.If you want to register to show or sale, deadlines are fast approaching. You can find all the information you need to register at the Web site sponsored by IBCA. Simply go to: www.hoosierbeefcongress.com or call 800-515-2333. Joe Moore, Executive Vice-President of IBCA, can help answer questions or direct them to someone who can.