MURFREESBORO, TN—The Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association (TCA) and Tennessee Cattlemen’s Youth Association (TCYA) recognized over 30 youth members for their success in the sixth year of the Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored byMerck Animal Health points program. The winners were recognized at the TCA Youth Awards Banquet sponsored by Kubota Tractor Corporation, held on January 20, 2024 at the Lane Agri-Park in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
The Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health program was created by TCA to increase youth involvement at cattle shows across the state and to create more opportunities for agriculture youth to be recognized. The program has continued to grow and draw interest from youth cattle enthusiasts across the state.
“The sixth year of the Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health program was very rewarding for all involved,” said Melinda Perkins, TCA Director of Youth Programs & Outreach. “There were several new participants in the program this year, and we were able to recognize more youth for their hard work with their show cattle projects.”
Participants can receive points in three divisions: heifers, steers, and showmanship. To receive points, exhibitors must be youth members of the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association.
Kutler Tinin from Lawrence County and Collin Cook from Robertson County received top honors for the 2023 Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health program year.
Tinin was awarded show heifer of the year and Cook was awarded show steer of the year.
“It feels good to see my hard work and the 3C/YB team’s hard work pay off. I am grateful to have won the Tennessee’s Top Tier show steer of the year title on my last qualifying year in the program, and to have consistently done it throughout my show career,” said Collin Cook. “None of this would be remotely possible without my supporting cast and everything the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Youth Association does to make the program its very best.”
The other Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health winners were as follows: Top five overall heifers (listed from first to fifth): Kutler Tinin, Lawrence County; Avery Rowlett, Wayne County; Sydney Cherry, Chester County; Jaclyn Thomas, Bledsoe County; Annie Meier, Anderson County. Top five overall steers (listed from first to fifth): Collin Cook, Robertson County; Kate Lamon, Giles County; Tillman Staley, Lincoln County; Brevin Hutson, Henry County; Collin Cook, Robertson County.
There are two additional divisions to showcase the heifer exhibitors. The Tennessee bred heifer division recognizes cattle that were raised by Tennessee cattle producers. Top five Tennessee bred heifers (listed first to fifth): Avery Rowlett, Wayne County; Sydney Cherry, Chester County; Annie Meier, Anderson County; Kutler Tinin, Lawrence County; Evan Jackson, Decatur County. The top two heifers in each breed were as follows: Angus- Annie Meier, Kutler Tinin; Charolais- Kara Brooks; Chi- Avery Rowlett; Hereford- Sydney Cherry, Evan Jackson; Limousin- Kelbie Rowlett; Red Angus- Gavin Giffey, Ivy McGillis; Shorthorn- Jaclyn Thomas, Jackson Overbay; ShorthornPlus- Caden Delaney, Ruby McClure; Simmental- Gracye Hunigan, Abby Newberry; Percentage Simmental- Emeri Whipple, Collin Cook; Commercial- Kutler Tinin, Laine Whipple, AOB- Ellie Hensley, Maggie Lamon.
The following were the top five winners in each showmanship division, listed from first to fifth. Top five Senior Level II Showmen: Emma Armstrong, Bedford County; Abigail Henry, McMinn; Augustus Rye, Houston County; Sydney Cherry, Chester County (tie for 4th); Brevin Hutson, Henry County (tie for 4th); Riley Smallen, Monroe County; Top five Senior Level I Showmen: Remi Gardner, Henry County; Avery Rowlett, Wayne County; Evan Jackson, Decatur County; Ellie Hensley, Unicoi County; Lucas Berner, Obion County; Top five Junior High Showmen: Parker Staley, Lincoln County; Jackson Overbay, Hamblen County; Ivy McGillis, Wilson County; Layne Stover, Obion County; Sam Teeple, White County; Top five Junior Showmen: Kutler Tinin, Lawrence County; Kelbie Rowlett, Wayne County; Jaclyn Thomas, Bledsoe County; Tillman Staley, Lincoln County; Grayce Hunigan, Sullivan County; Top five Explorer Showmen: Knox Logan, Dickson County; Laine Whipple, Henry County; Mattie King, Marshall County; Harmon Locke, Williamson County; Curtis Bomar, Henry County.
“Winning Senior Level II Showmanship was a major goal I set for myself,” said Emma Armstrong. “I put in many hours of hard work with my calves and it was nice to be rewarded by this accomplishment. I am truly thankful for the awards given and for an association like the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Youth Association that provides this opportunity for young cattlemen and women in Tennessee.”
In addition to the youth award winners, the Shelbyville Showdown Cattle Show was awarded the 2023 Show of the Year for the Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health program. The Shelbyville Showdown is held each May in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Tennessee’s Top Tier exhibitors and families voted the Shelbyville Showdown as the Show of the Year through an online vote.
The Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health program end of the year awards would not be possible without the following sponsors: Title Sponsor: Merck Animal Health; Diamond Sponsors: United Farm & Home Coop, Tennessee Farmers Cooperative, TransOva Genetics, Gallagher; Gold Sponsor: 3C-YB Cattle, Lubrisyn, Northwest Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association, West Tennessee Angus Association, Champion Show Supply, Carter Cover Graphics; Silver Sponsors: M&M Cattle, Tennessee Simmental/SimBrah Association, Tennessee Shorthorn Association; Bronze Sponsors: Umbarger Show Feeds, Swallows Insurance, Perkins Family Cattle; Friend of TCYA Sponsors: DS Farms, Tennessee CattleWomen’s Association, Shady Bottom Ranch, Freebird Farms, Tennessee Hereford Association, Higgins Farms, Tennessee Angus Association, Jared Hart, Cedar Forest Farms.
The seventh year of the Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health program is now underway. Rules and a full list of shows on the points circuit can be found online at, tncattle.org/youth.
TCA was founded in 1985 and has more than 6,500 members from across the state and the southeast. The organization works to provide the cattlemen of Tennessee with an organization through which they may function collectively to protect their interests and work toward the solution of cattle industry problems and to build the necessary goodwill that will bring both governmental esteem and recognition to the industry.