The BEST Program
2012-2013 Show Schedule (389 KB)
Nomination Form (132 KB)
BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) is a youth program that recognizes Ohio’s junior beef exhibitors through a series of sanctioned steer and heifer shows that include showmanship competition. Juniors who participate in these sanctioned shows earn points for their placings. These points are tracked through a special section on the OCA web site www.ohiocattle.org.
The OCA BEST program promotes educating Ohio’s juniors on beef industry issues, promotes family membership and participation in the OCA and rewards the successful accomplishments and hard work of junior beef producers. The program is also designed to promote consistency between Ohio’s steer and heifer shows.
The BEST program is coordinated by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA). The OCA is a membership organization consisting of beef producing families. It is the beef industry trade organization for the state of Ohio. An affiliate of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, OCA is the state’s spokesperson and issues manager for all segments of the beef cattle industry including cattle breeders, producers and feeders. It is the grassroots policy development organization for the beef business. Through the OCA, cattle producers work to create a positive business environment, while providing consumers with a safe and wholesome product.
The BEST program was started in 1999 with three goals:
- youth education and leadership development
- beef industry youth recognition and awards
- provide a series of shows that have consistent and ethical regulations
BEST sponsors for 2012-2013 are Bob Evans Farms, Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, Green Oak Farms, Eby Trailer, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Burroughs Frazier Farms and Weaver Livestock.
BEST sponsor M.H. Eby Livestock Trailer will award one lucky BEST participant the free use of a new 26' x 8' Eby livestock trailer for next year's show season at the banquet in June. Participants will be entered in the drawing for every animal nominated in the BEST program, plus an additional entry for each animal shown at each BEST show attended.
Program Timeframe & Participant Status
To be sanctioned for the OCA BEST program, shows must take place between Thanksgiving weekend and May 1, 2013. Sanctioning deadline for 2012-13 was June 1, 2012. Only Ohio residents who are eight years old as of January 1, 2013 but are not older than 21 years of age as of January 1, 2013 are eligible to accumulate OCA BEST points.
The Novice Division debuted during the 10th anniversary celebration to encourage new program participants by providing them with a less competitive environment for their first year of program involvement. A BEST participant can compete in the Novice Division for a total of two years if they did not place in the Top 10 of Novice Market Animals or Top 10 of Novice Heifers in their previous years of participation. Continuing for the 2012-13 BEST show season, all showmanship participants will show in their appropriate age division and a champion and reserve champion novice showman from each of the following divisions, Beginner, Junior, Intermediate and Senior will be awarded at this year's BEST banquet. Awards will also be awarded to the top 10 Novice Market Animals and Heifers at the BEST awards banquet.
To be eligible to receive awards, including the trailer drawing, and be listed in the final points standings, BEST participants must attend a minimum of two BEST shows during the 2012-13 show season. This includes bred-and-owned awards. Exhibitors attending less than two shows will still be considered participants and be eligible to receive a participant gift.
Program Requirements & Rules
Complete exhibitor rules governing the BEST program can be found under the rules section. To be eligible for OCA BEST points and awards, juniors or the junior’s family must be a current member of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and resident of Ohio. OCA memberships are family memberships and operate on the calendar year. Base dues for the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association are $60.00. If more than one junior within a family participates in the program, only one membership is required. New OCA memberships paid in late 2012 will be credited to the 2013 calendar year.
A nomination fee is required for each animal a junior enters in the BEST program. The one-time $30.00 nomination fee allows the animal to accumulate points at any OCA BEST sanctioned show. The nomination fee must be paid before the start of the show where the exhibitor plans to accumulate points. A nomination form must be completed for each animal nominated and may be submitted directly to OCA or during registration at a BEST sanctioned show.
Sanctioned shows must follow and enforce rules determined by the OCA BEST committee, the mandatory Livestock Tampering Exhibition Rules set forth in Chapter 901-19 of the Ohio Administrative Code, and any optional rules of Chapter 901-19 that the OCA BEST committee adopts. Contact the OCA office at 614.873.6736 for a complete copy of the rules.
Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) education is a part of the BEST program. Each OCA BEST exhibitor must participate in a minimum of one BQA session held in conjunction with a BEST show. These sessions are typically taught by Ohio State University Extension personnel.
Scholarships are made possible by BEST program sponsors. BEST participants eligible to apply are high school juniors and seniors or older (BEST maximum age 21 years as of 1-1-13) who are pursuing a degree at a college or university. Scholarship applications will be evaluated based on academics and extracurricular activities. Scholarship applications must be postmarked by May 1, 2013 and submitted to the OCA office. Scholarship applicants must also submit an essay for the essay competition.
The BEST program also sponsors a video competition and accompanying awards program for BEST participants that complete a video based on a predetermined topic or area. There is also a photography contest with four categories. There will be four divisions of awards for the photography competition based on the showmanship age divisions and Junior and Senior categories for the video competition. Novice participants will compete in the and photography and video competitions within the appropriate division based upon their actual age. There will not be a separate Novice division for these contests. Entry deadline for the essay and photography contest is May 1, 2013.
The Leading the BEST Conference was developed in 2006 to provide an opportunity for Ohio’s youth who are interested in the beef cattle industry to learn more about the industry in a fun, yet educational, setting.
The BEST program promotes the development of leadership skills for industry youth. 2012-13 youth BEST committee leaders are Amber Shoemaker, Stark County, Sarah Johnson of Pickaway County and Jessica Harsh of Delaware County.
Recognition and Awards
A special awards banquet for OCA BEST participants will take place May 11, 2013. At the 2012 awards banquet more than 450 people attended and recognized 160 BEST participants who received program awards consisting of $32,000 in belt buckles, furniture, jackets, show materials and other awards. In addition, every BEST participant in the final points standings will receive a year end participant gift.