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Junior Nationals Spotlight

Each summer, the national junior breed associations host junior national cattle shows that provide a platform for young cattlemen and women to showcase their cattle projects. These week-long events boast leadership and educational competitions and plenty of fun for the entire family. You can ask junior exhibitors of any breed and they’ll be quick to tell you that “Junior Nationals” is the best week of the year.

This year, Tennessee was represented at seven national junior cattle shows nationwide. Tennessee juniors represented the Volunteer State well as they traveled to their respective breed Junior Nationals in St. Paul, Minnesota, Des Moines, Iowa, Grand Island, Nebraska, Madison, Wisconsin, and Cookeville, Tennessee. The Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association commends our Tennessee youth on their hard work to succeed and excel at this level of competition.

Please enjoy this spotlight on Tennessee juniors’ success at the 2023 national junior cattle shows. The following photos and recaps were submitted by junior breed association state advisors, or selected parents and juniors. This spotlight was originally featured in the October issue of the Tennessee Cattle Business magazine.


It was a Char-Spangled Banner the week of the 4th of July for the Tennessee Charolais juniors. The American International Junior Charolais Association (AIJCA) hosted the Junior Nationals in St. Paul, Minnesota, July 2-7, 2023. 282 youth, 265 adults, and 487 Charolais and Char-Influenced animals registered for the 2023 AIJCA Junior Nationals. The Tennessee Junior Charolais Association was well represented by Kara Brooks, Brush Creek; William Maupin and Walynn Maupin, Newbern; and Alyssa Meier, Clinton. Throughout the week, juniors participated in the team fitting contest, quiz bowl, photo contest, showmanship, the bred and owned bull show, and the owned Charolais heifer show. The Tennessee juniors brought home many awards from the 2023 AIJCA Junior Nationals; Alyssa Meier: 3rd Place Senior Team Fitting, 3rd Overall Intermediate Showman, Reserve Grand Champion Bred & Owned Bull, and Reserve Division 4 Owned Female; Kara Brooks: 5th Overall Junior Showman, 5th Overall Owned Heifer, and Division 2 Champion Owned Heifer; Walynn Maupin: Intermediate Showmanship Finalist; William Maupin: Senior Showmanship Semi-Finalist. Tennessee also earned accolades for both State Herdsmanship and High Point State Participation with 10 or less head.


The American Junior Maine-Anjou Association (AJMAA) and American Junior Chianina Association (AJCA) held their Junior Nationals simultaneously in Grand Island, Nebraska, June 19-24. The theme for this year’s Maine Anjou and Chianina Junior Nationals was The Sweet Life. The show consisted of 1100 entries and 654 exhibitors from 29 states. Cole Lehnert represented Tennessee well as the lone Tennessean at the 2023 Maine Anjou and Chianina Junior Nationals. Cole exhibited the Reserve Grand Champion Bred and Owned ChiAngus Female and Early Spring Yearling Division Champion Bred & Owned ChiAngus. In the Chi-Composite show, he exhibited the Junior Yearling Reserve Division Female. Cole will continue his term on the AJCA Board of Directors.


Nine Tennessee Junior Shorthorn Association members traveled to the Shorthorn Kingdom for the National Junior Shorthorn Show & Youth Conference, June 18-24 in Des Moines, Iowa. Haylee Ferguson, Ethan and Gracie Giles, Blaire Lamon, Ruby McClure, Maggie Potter, Emma and Sam Teeple, and Jaclyn Thomas represented Tennessee in a variety of contests and shows. It was an exciting week for the Tennessee delegation as many placed in the top five in leadership contests, advanced in showmanship, and placed at the top with their cattle. Some of the week’s highlights include: Blaire Lamon: Senior Bull Calf Class Winner and Top 5 Cattlemen’s Quiz; Maggie Potter: Top 5 Cattlemen’s Quiz; Ethan Giles: Prospect Steer Class Winner and Top 5 Graphic Design; Gracie Giles: Top 5 Graphic Design and Top 5 Photography; Jaclyn Thomas: Purebred Junior Yearling Heifer Class Winner and Prospector II Showmanship Finalist; Haylee Ferguson: Purebred Bred & Owned Senior Heifer Calf Class Winner, Shorthorn Plus Bred & Owned Senior Yearling Division Winner, and recipient of the John C. Miller Scholarship; Sam Teeple: Prospector II Showmanship Semi-Finalist. Ruby McClure participated in her first Junior Nationals, Emma Teeple was the youngest Tennessee junior in the group, and Jana Owen represented Tennessee as an American Shorthorn Association summer intern. Haylee Ferguson will continue her term on the American Junior Shorthorn Association Board as the Public Relations Chair. Congratulations to all the Tennessee Juniors! The Tennessee juniors are looking forward to next year, June 16-22, 2024, in Timonium, MD, as they Sail Away with Shorthorns!


The National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) in Grand Island, Nebraska was a history-maker for Tennessee in 2023! Tennessee had 18 juniors exhibit 38 head. Allison Davis captured the title of Grand Champion Bred & Owned Cow/Calf Pair. Alexandra Duckworth took home the honor of Reserve Grand Champion PGS heifer as well as Reserve Grand Champion Bred & Owned PGS heifer. To finish off the week in the ring, Andrew Meier took home the coveted title of winning showmanship at the NJAS! The success of Team Tennessee wasn’t just in the ring. Remi Gardner was 1st in the Intermediate A Livestock Judging contest. The Senior High Quiz Bowl team made it to the buzzer round to finish 2nd. The Intermediate Quiz Bowl team also made it to the buzzer round to finish tied for 3rd. Allison Davis was 3rd in the Senior Skill-a-thon contest. The Senior Team Sales contestants “sold” their way into 3rd place. The entire Tennessee Junior Angus Association (TJAA) delegation was recognized as completing the requirements for the Angus Impact program and brought home a custom-made set of corn hole boards as well as 3rd place in Herdsmanship for the 16 to 45 head division. To close out the exciting week, Alli Perry was elected as one of the “new 6” to serve on the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) Board and will proudly wear the honorable Green Coat for the next two years. The TJAA ate well, laughed, napped in folding chairs, worked on their volleyball skills after night tie-outs, and cheered each other on ringside as the big Junior Angus family that they are! Another memorable year is in the books, and they are already looking forward to Madison, Wisconsin in 2024.


Hereford cattle from across the United States and Canada made a Mad Dash to The Hereford Bash in Madison, Wisconsin, July 7-14. Tennessee was well represented with 11 exhibitors and a National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) Junior Board Member. Tennessee juniors not only exhibited cattle but were involved in many of the social programs and contests that the Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) offers. Tennessee had several class and division winners, in addition to Foster Wingler and Andrew Meier finishing in the Top 10 Senior Showmanship. Tennessee Hereford Queen, Madison Maupin, enjoyed leading classes into the ring, presenting awards, and attending events. Sarah Beth Callicott was awarded the Outstanding Tennessee State Exhibitor award. NJHA retiring board member, Libby Rushton, gave an emotional farewell address on the final night of the 2023 Junior Nationals. The Tennessee Junior Hereford Association would like to say ‘thank you’ to Libby for all her hard work while on the NJHA Board.


The 7th Annual American Black Hereford Association (ABHA) Junior Nationals was held June 14-17 at the Hyder-Burks Agriculture Pavilion in Cookeville, Tennessee. The show consisted of 90 entries and 43 exhibitors from 14 different states. Tennessee was represented by Caroline Garrell, Kiley Smith, Landon Ellison, Tenley Shannon, and Morgan Riley. Caroline Garrell and Landon Ellison were both selected to serve on the American Junior Black Hereford Association (AJBHA) Board. Additionally, Tenley Shannon serves as the ABHA Queen. Landon Ellison was recognized as the Premier Junior Breeder during this year’s Junior Nationals. Tennessee is looking forward to hosting the ABHA Junior Nationals again in 2024.


The Tennessee Junior Simmental Association (TJSA) had a WiLd week attending the 2023 American Junior Simmental Association (AJSA) National Classic, Where The Wild Things Are. Five juniors, four trailers, and nine total head left Tennessee bound for Des Moines, Iowa the second week in July. The list of accolades earned by the Tennessee delegation is long for the small group of TJSA attendees. Highlights in the cattle show include Samantha Roberts earning 5th Overall Bred and Owned Percentage Bull and 5th Overall Percentage Bred and Owned Heifer, and Walker Housley winning Grand Champion Bred and Owned Purebred Bull. In the leadership contests, the highlights include Riley Smallen placing 16th in the Senior Division for Cattlemen’s Quiz, Walker Housley placing 9th in the Senior Division of the Calvin Drake Genetic Evaluation Quiz, 14th Senior Public Speaking, and 14th Overall Senior Showmanship. Other notable highlights include Walker Housely being re-elected elected to the AJSA Board of Trustees, Kendyll Smallen attending her first AJSA Junior Nationals, Samantha Roberts attending her last AJSA Junior Nationals, and Grace Williams presenting a high-quality set of Owned Purebred Simmental Heifers.

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