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  • Beef debut
    By Tracy Dransfield - AgriNews Staff Writer

    CARP - The second annual Beef Debut is still a go.

    Vernon's Barry Stewart, one of the show's organizers, says fundraising for the event is almost complete, ensuring it will indeed happen in 1999. The date for the event is Saturday, June 26.

    The securing of some major corporate sponsorships has been a large part of the successful fundraising initiative. So far, the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers, the Royal Bank, and Purina are on board to help out financially.

    The Beef Debut is run as a part of Carp's Strawfest, which made it's debut last summer. After the success of the 1998 agricultural festival, organizers decided to make it an annual event, thus incorporating the Debut as an annual competition as well. Last year, 72 exhibitors participated in the show.

    An important aspect of the competition is raising money for charities. Last year, over $20,000 was raised; this paid for operating costs of around $8,000, and the remainder was donated. According to Barry Dean, of corporate sponsor Purina, most of the money went to the Children's' Hospital of Eastern Ontario for specialized equipment, and the remainder was donated to Metcalfe's Jason MacDonald, a young man who lost the use of his legs in a hockey injury two years ago.

    In 1999, according to Stewart, operating costs will run around $14,000, and the remainder of however much is raised will be split between the Children's Wish Foundation and CHEO.

    Beef Debut competitors must be between the ages of 10 and 21 years as of January 1, 1999. This is one of the largest cattle competitions for young agriculturists in the area.

    While there is no limit on the number of entries per exhibitor, each one must pay for their entry and show a minimum of one animal. Entry fees are $10 before June 1 and $15 afterwards; both fees include bedding.

    Services abound for participants. A hoof trimmer will be available on Friday and Saturday. Each entrant will receive a T-shirt, and food concessions are available on the grounds for those too busy to pack a lunch.

    Exhibitors can bring their cattle to the grounds any time after noon on Friday, June 25. Registration is from 7:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. on June 26, while the show begins at 12 p.m. sharp.

    Over $10,000 in prizes will be awarded.

    The Beef Debut was created to "fill a void in the agricultural community". Founders of the show felt youths needed an chance to gather practical experience among their peers. Last year, 38 youths aged 10 - 14 (junior class) participated; 22 competed in the intermediate class (15 - 17 years of age) and 12 hopefuls entered the senior class for 18 - 21-year-olds. Attendance was estimated at 500 people.

    For more information, contact Kevin MacIntyre at 613-445-0506.

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