CARP - It's back and it's bigger and better than before. That's the word on the third annual Strawfest Beef Debut, a one-day event for young beef exhibitors to be held on the fairgrounds here June 24.
A total of $10,000 in prize money can be won in the showmanship and conformation classes with the exhibitor of the Grand Prize Heifer able to go home with close to $700 in the back pocket of his or her Calvins.
Exhibitors aged 10 to 21 are expected from all over Ontario to go under the watchful eye of judge Phil Trowbridge of Ghent, NY, who is affiliated with the world famous Gallagher Angus herd.
Organizer Barry Stewart of Vernon says the event will be "crowding 200 head" if, as expected, a large contingent of southern and western Ontario exhibitors takes part. Last year 160 head were shown.
He and his committee have spread the word across the province and the prize money - at a possible total of $10,000 - makes it one of the top paying events in all of Canada.
Although organizers have to make it worthwhile for exhibitors to travel any distance to attend the show, it's about more than just money, Stewart says.
"It's about goal setting, team building and striving for excellence. Its about decision making and networking as we help these young breeders and exhibitors, who will be the farmers of tomorrow," Stewart told The AgriNews.
There is no admission charge to the event, which will be held in the Carp fairgrounds' new pavilion.
Stewart and his committee rely on corporate support - and the beef show1s entrance fees - for the prize money.
Showmanship classes are broken down by age, with the junior class for exhibitors 10 to 14, intermediates aged 15 to 17 and seniors aged 18 to 21.
Conformation for heifers and steers will be done for nine breeds as well as for AOB. The breed classes are for Herefords, Simmentals, Limousins, Charolais, Angus, Shorthorns, Maine-Anjou, Blonde d'Aquitaine and Highland.
The first-place heifer in each class will receive $70 and there is a $100 prize for the breed champion. The exhibitor of the Supreme Champion Heifer will receive $500. Supreme Champion Steer will bring $300.
Registration is $20 per animal and there will be no registrations accepted on show day.
For more information on the show contact Albert Argue at 613-832-3494.
It looks like we're gonna have a convoy on the fairgrounds June 24 as Strawfest takes over the entire site for the day with at least half again as many exhibits in this year1s Big Rig Show and Shine.
There were 80 big rigs in last year's show and Stewart says organizers are expecting at least 120 this year.
"There'll be at least $10-million worth of iron sitting out there," Stewart said of the show.
There will be entertainment throughout the day and a dance that night, with music by Printer's Alley and Sticks and Stones will cap the event. Admission to the dance is $10.
And it1s not just the exhibitors in the Beef Debut and Big Rig show who will go home with some extra cash.
Last year the event raised $1500 for blind athletes and $4500 for CHEO, figures Stewart is betting will be topped this year.