There’s nothing like sibling rivalry.
Last September, Amber Burenheide of Howells exhibited the grand champion market heifer at the 61st annual Norfolk Beef Expo.
On Sunday, her twin brother, Adam, 17, walked his Chianina-Maine-Anjou heifer named Bell to the top title. The Howells High School senior said he was excited to follow in his sister’s footsteps.
Both siblings’ champs were bred and raised by RB Angus & Show Cattle of Albion. Adam and Amber are the children of Ron and Sharon Burenheide.
While Adam has exhibited at the Norfolk Beef Expo for four years, the 2011 grand champion market steer was entered by a first-time exhibitor.
Jordan Nelson, 14, of Ceresco said he was encouraged to enter by Mark Wolfe of Fremont, who raised the crossbred steer Jordan named Wolfe Man.
Jordan, a Raymond Central High School freshman, said it was exciting to earn a grand championship at the expo, regarded as one of the state’s top 4-H and FFA market beef shows. His parents are Steve and Stephanie Nelson.
The reserve champion market heifer was led through the paces by Dylan Beller of Leigh, a Leigh High School senior. Like Adam and Jordan, 18-year-old Dylan exhibited as an FFA member.
His nameless heifer was purchased from Went Blacks and Went Show Cattle of Platte Center and Leigh. Dylan’s parents are Darren and Lisa Beller.
Skyler Weber, 15, of Albion claimed reserve market steer honors. The Boone County 4-H’er and Albion Boone Central High School sophomore was at the halter of a nameless Chianina raised by John Stoltz with Stoltz Exotics of Elgin. Skyler’s parents are Kip Weber and Jolynn Groeteke.
The arena of Northeast Community College’s Ag Complex, which has been the site of the expo the past eight years, was familiar territory for this year’s judge. While Roger Morgan of Burwell never exhibited at the event, he was a member of the college’s livestock judging team who worked the show while a Northeast student.
“I was hoping to one day judge at this show,” said Morgan, a 2007 Northeast graduate who then went on to be a member of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln livestock judging team.
“I wouldn’t trade the (collegiate) judging experience for anything,” said Morgan, who raises Hereford show cattle and is an area sales manager for a livestock feed company.
He rated the 62nd Norfolk Beef Expo as “a very high caliber show. I was truly impressed.”
He sifted through 16 heifers and 79 steers to select the overall winners. These numbers compare to 13 heifers and 84 steers in 2010 and 21 heifers and 109 steers in 2009.
The 2011 division champions were:
Market heifers, Division I champion — D. Beller; reserve — Brad Van Winkle, Cairo; Division II champion — A. Burenheide; reserve — Dalton Wagner, Albion;
Market steers, Division I champion — Tayler Gall, Clarkson; reserve — Callie Albers, Wisner; Division II champion — J. Nelson; reserve — S. Weber; and Division III champion — Ben Bonderson, Hoskins; reserve — Tejlor Strope, O’Neill.
For the eighth year, the expo included a premium auction with the bids on a per-head basis, rather than a per-pound basis. The 2011 champs garnered the following premiums (listed by buyer):
Heifers, champion — $500, RB Angus; reserve — $300, Progressive Nutrition, Norfolk; steers, champion — Vech Cattle Co., Cedar Bluffs; reserve — $300, COE Cattle Co. and Affiliated Foods Midwest, Norfolk.
Morgan said this year’s showmanship entrants were “about the best set of showmen I’ve ever judged — all the way from the juniors to the seniors. It was really tough to judge.”
The top three winners in each division (listed in order of rank), who won cash prizes from the Pierce Elevator in Pierce, were:
Junior — Tara Lee Hudson, Belvidere; Megan Schroeder, Wisner; Cody Elliott, Tekamah; intermediate — Trenton Elliott, Tekamah; Ryan Schroeder, Wisner; T. Strope; and senior —A. Burenheide; Kory Wagner, Winnetoon; and Grady Gydeson, Ord.
Josh Kammer, chairman of the agri-business council of the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the 2011 Norfolk Beef Expo, said the 95 head were of “great quality. It keeps getting better every year.”
Raising and exhibiting livestock is “a great experience for kids, a way to learn life skills, such as patience and dedication,” said Kammer, who showed livestock as a Bloomfield FFA member and Knox County 4-H’er.
In addition to the agri-business council, sponsor of the expo all 62 years, the other 2011 sponsors were Agrex Inc., Progressive Nutrition, Northeast College, and the Elkhorn Valley Cattlemen Association in Madison and Stanton counties.
Exhibitors of the grand champion steer and heifer were awarded $200 scholarships from BankFirst and fleece blankets from Willers Mitten of Stanton.
For the second year, the expo includes a carcass contest with the cattle to be evaluated on both quality grade and yield grade. McIntosh Enterprises and Norfolk Implement Inc . will sponsor the contest premiums.