2023-2024 OCA BEST Show Rules
1. Exhibitor Eligibility
Only Ohio residents who are eight years old as of January 1, 2024 but are not older than 21 years of age as of January 1, 2024, are eligible to accumulate OCA BEST points. Anyone who has reached 22 years of age before 1/1/24 is ineligible. Out-of-state juniors who exhibit Buckeye Breeder Series (BBS) cattle are also eligible to participate in BEST and accumulate points, providing they meet all other eligibility requirements, including age, membership and Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) status. Out-of-state juniors are eligible to accumulate OCA BEST points on their BBS cattle only, not showmanship. To be eligible for the BEST program participants and their immediate family members must be in good financial standing with OCA. Good financial standing includes but is not limited to prior year’s unpaid accounts with OCA or any BEST sanctioned show or unpaid accounts resulting from a BEST rule violation. All prior unpaid accounts must be paid in full prior to making BEST nominations. BEST participants must continue to be in good financial standing with OCA and each BEST sanctioned show throughout the program year to be eligible to receive BEST awards and to be listed in the BEST final points. The BEST Committee reserves the right to place BEST participants on a cash only basis at all BEST sanctioned shows based upon past violations of this rule.
2. BEST Nomination Fee, BBS Nomination Fee & Show Entry Fees – (*See table appendix)
* There is an additional $25.00 one-time per head nomination fee for Buckeye Breeder Series (BBS) animals to be eligible to participate in BEST and accumulate BEST points. The BBS $25.00 nomination must be paid at the participant’s first show. The Ohio breeder of the BBS animal has the first responsibility to pay the $25.00 BBS nomination fee for any animals they have sold to juniors at the online form available by clicking here or the BEST exhibitor may pay the $25.00 BBS nomination, if it has not already been paid by the breeder, in addition to the $60.00 per head one-time BEST nomination fee, when they complete their online BEST nomination.
3. OCA Membership
To exhibit at a BEST sanctioned show, the exhibitor and/or their family must be current paid members of OCA. This rule pertains to all exhibitors both in-state and out-of-state residents, BEST and non-BEST participants. If a BEST participant’s membership will expire during the current show season, the membership must be renewed at their first BEST show. The OCA membership must be in the name of the exhibitor’s immediate family. Immediate family is defined as a membership in the parents’ name, or the membership has the same address of record as the exhibitor. A one-time annual $75.00 OCA family membership will be added to the first show entry fee for all show exhibitors when they enter a BEST sanctioned show through the online entry system. If more than one junior within a family exhibit at a BEST sanctioned show, only one OCA membership is required.
4. Show Your Own Animal for BEST Points
BEST participants that are physically unable to show their animal may ask another BEST participant or have a family member who meets the age requirements for the BEST program to show their animal, but the unable BEST participant must be present at the show to earn OCA BEST points. If the BEST participant becomes ill after the cattle have arrived at a show and been checked-in, another BEST participant or family member who meets the age requirements for the BEST program, may show their animal(s). The BEST participant must seek prior approval from the BEST Committee and the BEST participant must have been at the show, hotel and/or left home with the cattle. Should a BEST participant become ill and stay home prior to the cattle leaving for a show, then no BEST points will be awarded to the participant’s cattle.
Family emergencies are at the BEST Committee’s discretion, but the participant must seek prior approval for BEST points to count. The BEST Committee reserves the right to use discretion in administering this rule regarding situations not already covered. All decisions by the BEST Committee on points associated with showing your own animal shall be final.
5. Sanctioned Show Requirements
A sanctioned show must be open to all OCA BEST exhibitors but is not limited to them. A sanctioned show may be open to the world, but only OCA BEST participants will accumulate points. Show schedules regarding double rings, heifers, steers and showmanship will be up to the discretion of each BEST show. All BEST exhibitors will receive a $5 per entry discount on their fees at each BEST show.
6. Cattle Age Requirements
Steers & Market Heifers born on or after January 1, of 2023. Heifers born on or after September 1, 2022.
BEST show participants may provide breed registrations electronically at the time of check in. Although electronic papers are permitted, exhibitors are encouraged to have registration papers in hand at time of check in. All registrations meeting their breed association’s national junior show eligibility requirements will be accepted. No copies will be accepted. The animal’s registration must be in the name of the junior exhibitor who is exhibiting the animal. For BEST points, no family farm names will be permitted. At the first two (2) BEST sanctioned shows; Mardi Gras Masquerade and AGR Holiday Classic, BEST participants, who have not received their completed registrations, may still nominate their animals as a declared breed. (i.e. – if you have a Hereford steer and declare his breed at the Mardi Gras Masquerade, either a completed registration paper or electronic registration must be presented to BEST officials at AGR Holiday Classic.) Proof of registration MUST be provided at the BEST sanctioned show immediately following the show where the animal’s breed was declared whether or not you exhibit cattle at the show. Failure to do so will result in the animal being dropped from the BEST point standings; additionally, any showmanship points garnered with the animal will be forfeited. Once proof of registration is provided on animals dropped from the program, the animal may be re-nominated for the BEST program and start collecting points; however, no points accumulated prior to providing proof of registration will transfer. The BEST committee reserves the right to evaluate all breed steers and heifers for breed standards.
Cattle without a registration and legible tattoos that correspond to the registration will be considered crossbred. Tattoos will only be checked one time at a show. If the animal has illegible tattoos they will be placed in the crossbred division. The animal will not be permitted to leave the chute and come back. Cattle may only show one time within a show. Dual registered cattle may show only in one breed at one show. The exception to this rule is heifers that are nominated in the BEST program and show in BEST sanctioned shows as both a breeding heifer and a market heifer, providing the exhibitor has paid to dual nominate and enter the heifer in both of the shows.
Breed heifers must be shown by breed and age and crossbred heifers by weight. Steers and Market Heifers must be shown according to breed and crossbred steers and market heifers by weight. The following breed classes will be offered (unless a breed specific show) based on breed minimum percentages as listed: **Note-all AOBs must show in their appropriate division.
It will be up to the BEST Committee’s discretion to determine which breeds remain on the list of breed classes for the 2024-2025 season. The Committee will consider past breed participation numbers when determining if a breed will remain on the list of breed classes. There will be a one-year probation for breeds that want to be added to the list for future years. These exhibitors will show for class money only during the probation year. At the conclusion of the year the BEST Committee will make a determination if the breed will be continued the next year. Among the BEST Committee’s considerations will be the number of animals exhibited and the number of exhibitors of the breed. Breeders interested in being granted the one-year probation must contact the OCA office by May 1 of the preceding year, i.e. May 1, 2024, for the 2024-25 show season.
BEST participants can only receive points on animals in one division, breed or crossbred. An animal cannot be shown as a crossbred one week and a breed animal the next week and maintain two sets of points. Their points will be counted for the division listed on their nomination form. Market Heifers that are also nominated as breeding heifers are exempted from this rule.
The show order within the heifer show and the market animal show will be alphabetical starting with Angus and moving through all the breeds, followed by the All Other Breeds (AOB) and ending with Crossbreds. Market Heifers will be shown before crossbred steers.
In addition, it is mandatory that classes be provided for breed heifers, no matter the number of heifers of that breed entered in the show, according to the following age breaks: September-December 2022, January-February 2023, March- April 2023, and May 2023 and younger. This is the minimum number of classes to be provided. At larger shows additional classes may be added. Show order for heifers will be from youngest to oldest. Classes over 12 head will be broken evenly by the BEST show committee.
8. EID TAGS Required
ALL cattle (BEST & non-BEST) entering Ohio to show in a BEST sanctioned show MUST be tagged with an EID ear tag prior to arriving at their first BEST show. Cattle arriving at the show without an EID tag will incur a cost of $20 per tag to remain eligible to participate. The primary method of identification for ALL cattle exhibiting at a BEST sanctioned show will be their EID tag. This will also serve as the BEST program nominated cattle’s BEST number throughout the season. The secondary method of identification for registered steers and heifers will be their breed registration number and tattoo. ALL BEST show entries (crossbred and registered steers, heifers and market heifers) will be recorded by an EID ear tag at their first BEST sanctioned show. All EID tags must be official 840 RFID tags.
9. BVD PI Tests Required
ALL cattle, heifers and steers, (BEST & non-BEST) (in-state and out-of-state) exhibited at an OCA BEST sanctioned show are required to be tested and negative for Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) persistent infection (PI) status. All animals must have a negative BVD test to be exhibited at any OCA BEST sanctioned show. This does not prohibit an individual animal from being retested, should an initial screening test be determined to be a false positive. Exhibitors with a test positive animal (on initial screening) should work with a veterinarian to determine additional BVD testing options. Any animal that has a final positive BVD result (is determined to be persistently infected) is ineligible to be exhibited at any OCA BEST sanctioned show. Acceptable tests include and are limited to: Immunohistochemistry (IHC) on skin, Antigen-capture ELISA (ACE) on serum (blood test) or skin, Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on whole blood, serum or skin. Animals must be individually tested and individually identified. Pooled testing is acceptable only if documentation is provided that the animal was specifically included in the pool and that the pool contained no more than 7 animals.
Schedule the BVD PI test with enough lead time to receive the test results prior to a BEST show. A lead time of at least two weeks is recommended prior to the first show. All animals being tested, registered and crossbred, must be identified with an 840 EID tag at the time of testing. A BVD PI test is a one-time test good for the life of the animal.
Like declaring a breed at the first sanctioned show, proof of a Negative BVD PI test MUST be provided at the next BEST sanctioned show immediately following the first BEST show the animal attended, whether or not you plan to exhibit cattle at the show, EXCEPT for exhibition at the Ohio Beef Expo. Failure to do so will result in the animal being dropped from the BEST point standings and the program. Additionally, any showmanship points garnered with the animal will be forfeited. All cattle exhibited at the Ohio Beef Expo Junior Show will be required to be tested and negative for Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) persistent infection (PI) upon arrival on the Expo grounds.
All animals nominated for the OCA BEST program must be owned at the time of nomination by the BEST exhibitor making the nomination and must remain in the ownership of the BEST exhibitor throughout the remainder of the BEST show season.
11. No Farm Tags or Identifying Marks
No identifying tags or marks on animals or exhibitors will be permitted at a BEST sanctioned show. This means no farm tags, special show harnesses or marked show shirts are allowed. The BEST committee or sanctioned show is not responsible to remove any tags. It will be the responsibility of the exhibitor to remove tags. Only BEST tags, county fair tags, EID tags and brands will be permitted. Note that if an EID tag has a farm name included, it is the exhibitor’s responsibility to make sure that the farm name is completely covered with non-transparent tape prior to entering the show ring. This rule applies to all animals and exhibitors entered in a BEST sanctioned show, including animals and exhibitors not in the BEST program. If an animal enters the ring with an unacceptable tag or identifying mark it will be disqualified from the show and will earn no points if they are a BEST animal.
12. Showmanship Requirements - UPDATED FOR 2023-2024
A showmanship competition will be offered at every BEST show. It will be up to the discretion of each BEST show to determine if showmanship will be open to all exhibitors or only BEST participants. Any BEST sanctioned show that offers more than one showmanship competition will be required to have one competition that is for BEST participants only. Each BEST show must place the top ten in each age division for OCA BEST points. Showmanship class premiums are at the discretion of the sanctioned show. Age divisions will be: Beginner Division 8-10, Junior Division 11-13, Intermediate Division 14-16, Senior Division 17-21, and the Novice Division for first - third year BEST participants ages 11-16. BEST participants ages 11-16 may choose to show in their specified age division with other BEST participants or they can participate in the Novice Division where only first - third year BEST participants will be competing. BEST participants will only be allowed to compete in one showmanship division. (i.e. - an 11-year-old BEST participant eligible for the Novice division may not compete in the Junior and Novice showmanship divisions at a BEST sanctioned show. They must choose one division.) The participant must compete in the heat that is listed in the final show program. If they fail to do so they will be disqualified from that particular show’s showmanship competition. The participant’s age on January 1, 2024 is used to determine age division. Anyone who has reached 22 years of age before 1/1/24 is ineligible to compete. The OCA BEST Committee reserves the right to request at any BEST show that showmanship participants must provide proof of age, which may include a driver’s license or other records, such as county 4-H records. Participants must show their own animal and that animal must be entered in the show. The animal that a BEST exhibitor is accumulating showmanship points on must be nominated for the BEST program. BEST participants may switch between animals they own for showmanship throughout the BEST season and still accumulate one points total. (Every BEST show will provide a showmanship competition and the showmanship show order will be youngest to oldest, with the Beginner division first, followed by Juniors, Novice, Intermediate and Seniors last.)
Out-of-state juniors exhibiting BBS cattle in the BEST program may show in every showmanship contest, except the Ohio Beef Expo, but will not be eligible to accumulate BEST points. They are not eligible to participate in the Novice division of BEST.
In order to participate in showmanship all exhibitors must enter showmanship online by the end of the check-in on Friday evening.
The limit on the number of times an exhibitor's animal can get loose in showmanship is two. If it gets loose a third time, the exhibitor will be excused from competition. The class will be considered "final" when the judge begins speaking on the microphone. If an animal gets loose during the judge's comments it will not count against the exhibitor. Exhibitors must enter their class on time. Exhibitors arriving late to their assigned class will be ineligible to participate in the class and will be dismissed. When the first animal in the class walks, all late animals will be ineligible to enter the ring.
Maximum Showmanship Point Accumulation Cap -
The maximum number of showmanship points that will count toward the year-end point totals will be 7 shows. As an exhibitor you may participate in more than 7 showmanship competitions, however only your top 7 sets of points will count.
13. Stockmanship Division
The OCA BEST program’s Stockmanship Division provides a pathway for youth to participate in the BEST program without showing an animal. It expands BEST participants’ knowledge of cattle and provides youth with an opportunity to showcase their abilities and talents outside of the show ring. The Stockmanship division is comprised of beef industry-focused events and competitions that are in conjunction with BEST shows. This division of the BEST program is open to all Ohio youth regardless of whether they show cattle during the BEST show season. If an existing BEST participant would like to sign up for the Stockmanship division, they will do so under their BEST user profile at best.ohiocattle.org for no additional cost outside of existing cattle nominations. If age- eligible individuals would like to participate in the Stockmanship division but don’t have cattle enrolled in the 2023-2024 BEST program, they should create their username and profile at best.ohiocattle.org (if they don’t have an existing account either BEST or non-BEST) and elect to participate in the Stockmanship division. Non-cattle exhibiting BEST Stockmanship participants will need to have a current $75 family OCA membership and will pay a one-time participation fee of $60. Individuals may sign up for the Stockmanship program at any point throughout the season.
2023-2024 Stockmanship Contests – (This contest information is tentative and will be confirmed.)
- Prepared Speaking - held at the Saddle and Sirloin Spectacular - Saturday, December 30, 2023
- Cattlemen’s Challenge Competition (OCA’s version of a skill-a-thon) - held at the Scarlet and Gray Midwest Showdown - Saturday, January 6, 2024
- Salesmanship - held at the Clark County Cattle Battle- Saturday, January 27, 2024
- Fitting Contest - held at the DTS Cupid Classic - Friday, February 9, 2024
- Judging Contest - held at the Ohio Beef Expo - Friday, March 15, 2024
*Individual contests may prorate the number of awards based on the number of participants.
Stockmanship contests will include their own registration and rules for each event and top-placing awards will be given at each competition. Please note that individual and team awards for qualifying events will be presented at the contest. Overall Stockmanship awards will be presented at the OCA BEST Awards Banquet on May 4, 2024. The top five individuals in the following divisions will be recognized: Beginner, Junior, Novice, Intermediate and Senior. Age breaks will follow that of the BEST program’s showmanship rules. To qualify for the end of year Stockmanship awards, the participant must have completed two contests, be a current OCA member by January 1, 2024, or at the time of Stockmanship sign-up and have completed their Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification. Stockmanship participants may complete their BQA at any session offered at a BEST sanctioned show, online at BQA.org or at YQCA.org.
A cumulative points scale for the Stockmanship division will be utilized for overall finishes and end of year point tabulation. Overall Stockmanship Point tabulation is as follows:
End of year ties will be broken based on the number of Stockmanship contests the participant completed. The participant finishing the greatest amount of contests will break the tie. Individual OCA BEST Stockmanship contest rules and full details are located at ohiocattle.org under the Events & Programs Tab.
Beef Quality Assurance All BEST participants, including out-of-state BEST BBS participants, must have a current BQA certification when they sign-up for the program and/or complete a BQA certification to be in the BEST points standings following their first show, to be eligible to receive BEST awards and to be listed in the BEST final points. BQA certification is available through in-person trainings at BEST shows, bqa.org or yqca.org. BEST participants that attended an in-person BQA training last BEST season (2020-2021) are certified for three years from the date they attended training.
In-person Training – (These BQA certification dates are tentative and will be confirmed.)
To complete the BQA requirement in-person, BEST participants need to attend one of four planned BQA sessions that will be held at the AGR Holiday Classic, Scarlet & Gray Midwest Showdown, DTS Cupid Classic, and the Ohio Beef Expo. BEST participants are required to attend the entire BQA session, from beginning to end, to receive documentation of attendance. County level (Extension / 4-H / FFA) BQA programs do not transfer for the BEST QA requirement. Attendance at the BEST BQA program during any BEST sanctioned show MAY meet the exhibitor’s county level QA requirement; however, exhibitors are responsible for checking with their county Extension educator to see if the QA offered by the BEST program will be accepted in their respective county. BEST participants MAY still be required to attend their own county level QA program to participate in their county fair. **The BEST Program DOES NOT accept county level QA to qualify for the BEST program’s requirement.**
To complete the BQA requirement online, BEST participants may complete the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) course (modules and test) for their appropriate age or the modules at BQA.org. The online options can be found under https://www.ohiocattle.org/best/online-bqa. YQCA.org (ONLY GOOD FOR ONE YEAR)
If the participant chooses to use YQCA.org, there is a cost of $12 per online test and that payment can be made through YQCA upon registering for the online course. **Please note – 4-H participants that have a current 4HOnline / LearnGrow.com account may use that log-in information to register for the online YQCA course.** Online YQCA test results will be provided to OCA via YQCA administrators to credit BEST participants with fulfilling their BQA requirement. Please note that several national exhibitions and multi-specie shows are requiring QA to participate in their shows. Visit http://yqca.org for a complete list of shows and exhibitions that accept the YQCA program for their QA requirement. BQA.org (GOOD FOR 3 YEARS and must still complete county QA requirement each year)
If the exhibitor chooses to complete the online training at BQA.org, they will create a username / password if they haven’t already done so.
15. OCA BEST Committee & Junior Rep Process
The OCA BEST program is planned and governed by the OCA BEST Committee; however, all decisions are subject to approval by the OCA board of directors. The OCA President will appoint the committee chairman. There will also be several members solicited by OCA to serve on the governing committee. The chairman and those members solicited by OCA will constitute the BEST Executive Committee. The additional committee members will include a determined amount of junior BEST participants. Junior BEST participants that are interested in serving on the committee will be required to complete a nomination application and go through an interview process. The junior committee representatives will be determined through an interview process prior to the 2024 BEST Awards Banquet. Junior committee applicants must be 16 years of age as of January 1, 2024, or older to apply. The final three committee members will be representatives of sanctioned shows determined at a meeting of the representatives of sanctioned shows. Representatives of all sanctioned shows will meet at least once a year to review the previous year’s program and make suggested changes for the coming year. No shows can be sanctioned for the following OCA BEST show season until after this meeting.
16. Complaint or Protest Procedure
Anyone who seeks to file a complaint or protest regarding a perceived infraction of a BEST rule or sanctioned show rule must submit a fee of $150 to the BEST Committee. The BEST Committee will not release the name of the individual filing the protest. The fee will be refunded only if the protest is sustained by the BEST Committee. Formal protests pertaining to the BEST program or BEST sanctioned shows must be made during the current BEST show season and prior to the last BEST sanctioned show. The BEST Committee also reserves the right to review any potential rules violation on its own without a complaint first being filed. The BEST Committee, in its discretion, will determine the appropriate action, if any, and reserves the right to use any combination of tools and/or technology to conduct a thorough investigation pertaining to the protest.
If the results of the investigation clearly do not support the complaint or protest, the matter will be dropped. If the results of the investigation appear to support the complaint or protest, the BEST Committee will provide the BEST participant who is the subject of the complaint or protest with at least 10 days’ notice of a meeting, where the participant and the participant’s family and any other involved parties will have an opportunity to present evidence or argument in their defense. The party making the protest also may attend and present evidence or argument in support of the protest. The BEST Committee will share the results of its investigation. Following the meeting, the BEST Committee in conjunction with the OCA Board of Directors will make a determination and inform the participant of its decision in writing.
Points challenges are not subject to the $150 fee, however, there will be a 5-day limit to challenge BEST points, once the office makes a posting or changes a points posting.
17.Exhibitors Must Follow State of Ohio Livestock Exhibition Rules
The exhibitors and their animals, (BEST or non-BEST), their family members, and others acting on the behalf of the exhibitors, will follow Ohio’s Livestock Show Reform Law, Chapter 901 of the Ohio Revised Code, and all rules under Ohio Livestock Exhibitions, as set forth in Sections 901-19-01 through 901-19-21 and Section 901-19-33 of the Ohio Administrative Code (with the exception of PEMF therapy in 901-19-13).
When exhibiting at an OCA BEST show there is zero tolerance for the use of any unapproved drug at any point in the animal’s life. ‘Exhibition Drug Residue Legal’ means an animal, market or breeding, has not been administered a drug that is U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved for use in cattle; or if administered an approved drug, the withdrawal period has elapsed at the time the drug use notification form is completed. The artificial filling or pumping of animals is expressly prohibited. The use of any material, gas, solid, or liquid, that conceals, transforms, or enhances the true confirmation or configuration of an animal, including by way of example but not limited to rope, false hair, graphite, hemp and powders is prohibited. The use of pigmented grooming aides, i.e. paint, on the animal or its hooves while at a show is strictly prohibited.
The use of Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field (PEMF) therapy on an animal while at an OCA BEST show will be permitted, although the treatment should be approved by the official show veterinarian.
Unapproved Drug Use: The showing of an animal that during its life has been administered any quantity of any unapproved drug, chemical or medication is strictly prohibited. Such drugs include, but are not limited to, any diuretic, unapproved growth stimulant or other unapproved medication. Unapproved means not approved by the FDA and/or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) for slaughter animals of a species, including animals that may be destined for human consumption.
Approved Drug Use: If an animal has been administered a drug that is FDA approved for beef cattle, sufficient time must have passed so that the animal does not test positive for that drug upon arrival at the OCA BEST show. Animals must remain negative of all drug and chemical residues while on the grounds of the OCA BEST show. Note that elimination time (the time it takes for no drug residue to be found in the system) may be longer than the labeled withdrawal time for most approved drugs.
The BEST Committee reserves the right to test and/or ultrasound any animal at a BEST Show. The BEST Committee, at its sole discretion, may test and/or ultrasound winners, at random, or upon reasonable suspicion of possible violations of any of the Ohio Livestock Show Reform Law and its related rules or other OCA BEST Rules.
By participating in an OCA BEST show, exhibitors (BEST and non-BEST) consent to BEST committee members, OCA staff and show management entering the tents, trailers, and other areas where animals may be housed at a BEST show, prepared for the show, or transported to or from the show.
The OCA BEST Committee and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Board of Directors may impose penalties when a violation of a rule under Ohio Livestock Exhibitions, Sections 901-19-01 through 901-19-21 of the Ohio Administrative Code has occurred.
Each case of a rule violation will be handled on an individual basis. Exhibitors found in violation are offered an opportunity to explain the details of their case in a hearing/meeting with all or a portion of the OCA BEST Committee. The OCA Board of Directors, at their discretion, may grant an additional hearing opportunity with the full OCA Board of Directors. Penalties will vary, depending on the rule violated.
When determining penalties, OCA will consider, among other factors, the fact that the BEST program is sponsored by OCA for the development of youth, the desire and necessity of maintaining the integrity of the BEST program and the severity of the violation compared to industry standards.
A. Ohio Livestock Exhibition Rules Chapter 901-19 - drug residues
Upon arrival at an OCA BEST show and at the time of testing, any animal, market or breeding, being tested (BEST or non-BEST) must be ‘Exhibition Drug Residue Legal’ meaning clear of any unapproved drug residue and be clear of any withdrawal periods for approved drugs.
Animals under the care of a licensed veterinarian and/or taking ANY type of medication, including but not limited to steroids, diuretics, anti-inflammatories, tranquilizers and/or pain killers, are ineligible for competition. Exhibitors with questions regarding medications and/or eligibility should review Ohio’s Livestock Show Reform Law, Chapter 901 of the Ohio Revised Code Click here.
The exhibitor (and exhibitor’s parent or legal guardian, if exhibitor is a minor) agrees and acknowledges that: (1) they are absolutely and solely responsible for the care and custody of their animals; (2) the OCA BEST program shall be entitled to disqualify an exhibitor whose animal(s) test positive for ANY drug, even if the exhibitor and the exhibitor’s parents/guardians are innocent of any wrongdoing and did not administer the drug; and (3) the drug test results of the testing laboratories are final and binding upon the exhibitor and the exhibitor’s parents/guardians. Even if the source of the drug is unknown, the OCA BEST program shall be entitled to disqualify the exhibitor.
Urine, blood, and other test samples shall be collected by a veterinarian licensed in the State of Ohio and in accordance with the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s protocol for the collection of livestock test samples at exhibitions. All tests will be performed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. Test samples may be collected before, during, or immediately after a show.
A drug use notification form shall be completed for every animal from which a test sample is collected at every show. The drug use notification form shall be signed by the exhibitor. If the person signing the form is a minor child, the form shall be cosigned by a parent or guardian of the minor child.
Drug Residue Penalties
The OCA BEST Committee and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Board of Directors may impose penalties when there is positive test for a drug residue.
There is zero tolerance for test results that are positive for an unapproved drug and penalties will be assessed. Test results with a detectable level of residue from an approved drug, but whose test result level is less than the FDA food safety allowance for slaughter animals, as determined by the State Veterinarian with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, will be considered a negative test.
There is also zero tolerance for a positive test of an approved drug that was not used or administered in the approved manner under the rules. This is a violation regardless of the level, and a prohibited practice.
Each case of a positive drug test rule violation will be handled on an individual basis. Exhibitors with a positive drug residue test are offered an opportunity to explain the details of their case in a hearing/meeting with all or a portion of the OCA BEST Committee. The OCA Board of Directors, at their discretion, may grant an additional hearing opportunity with the full OCA Board of Directors. Penalties may vary based on the severity of the violation.
Penalties may include, but not be limited to, the following: the exhibitors and their animals, (BEST or non-BEST), their family members, and others acting on the behalf of the exhibitors to lose points for a show, lose points for multiple shows, and/or be barred from current or future participation in the BEST program and other OCA events and programs. BEST exhibitors with a positive drug residue test and found in violation of OCA BEST rules and their animals may also be dismissed from the BEST program and lose all BEST points for showmanship and animals. The OCA Board of Directors’ decision will be communicated in writing and will be final.
Ohio Livestock Exhibition Rule 901-19-33 is a prohibited grooming practices rule. The following grooming practices are prohibited:
a.) Using any substance at an OCA BEST show to enhance or change the color of the livestock, including the livestock’s hide or hooves;
b.) Adding any substance externally to build up, change or alter the shape or conformation of the livestock, including by way of example, but not limited to rope, false hair, graphite, hemp, and powders;
c.) Pigmented grooming aides or materials. In addition, colored or pigmented substances, i.e. paint, are prohibited from use on animals at all OCA BEST shows. Painting of the hooves is prohibited. Use of clear substances is permitted.
Any exhibitor and the exhibitor’s animal (BEST or non-BEST) at an OCA BEST show that violates this rule will be disqualified and all premiums and awards for that animal will be forfeited. If the disqualified exhibitor has shown the exhibitor’s animal, all animals placing below them will not move up. OCA BEST members who violate Rule 901-19-33 will be disqualified as described above from that show only, and their points for that animal, their other BEST animals entered in the show and showmanship points will not count in the OCA BEST program.
B. Falsifying Breeds, Registration Papers and Ownership Rules
The exhibitor and the exhibitor’s animals (BEST or non-BEST), family members (including but not limited to siblings), business partners (including but not limited to their children) or breeders selling animals exhibited in an OCA BEST show are expected to follow all national breed association rules regarding breed percentages for registration papers.
They must also follow ownership deadlines as set forth in OCA BEST rules, and any associated 4-H, FFA or breed association ownership rules. There will be penalties for violations of these rules and other related areas. The OCA BEST Committee reserves the right to investigate a potential violation of this nature at any time. The committee may also investigate if they feel a complaint filed through the OCA BEST complaint procedure rule #16 warrants investigation of a potential rule violation.
Falsifying Breeds, Registration Papers or Exhibitor Ownership Penalties
The OCA BEST Committee and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Board of Directors may impose penalties when someone has misrepresented or falsified a breed percentage or registration paper or when an exhibitor has violated an ownership rule or other related area.
Each case of a rule violation will be handled on an individual basis. Exhibitors, breeders and/or sellers found in violation are offered an opportunity to explain the details of their case in a hearing/meeting with all or a portion of the OCA BEST Committee. The OCA Board of Directors, at their discretion, may grant an additional hearing opportunity with the full OCA Board of Directors. Penalties will vary, depending on the rule violated
Penalties may include, but not be limited to, the following: the exhibitors and their animals, (BEST or non-BEST), their family members, and others acting on the behalf of the exhibitors to lose points for a show, lose points for multiple shows, and/or be barred from current or future participation in the BEST program and other OCA events and programs. BEST exhibitors found in violation of a rule and their animals may also be dismissed from the BEST program and lose all BEST points for showmanship and animals. Breeders and/or sellers found in violation of these rules may be barred from current or future participation in the BEST program and other OCA events and programs. The OCA Board of Directors’ decision will be communicated in writing and will be final.
C. Violations of Ohio’s Livestock Exhibition Rules at Other Shows
Any individual and his or her immediate family or member of the individual’s household who has been found by the Ohio Department of Agriculture to be in violation of mandatory Ohio Livestock Exhibition Rules 901-19-01 through 901-19-21 of the Ohio Administrative Code and has been barred by the Ohio State 4-H office for future show participation (with any species) may be barred from exhibiting cattle in any OCA BEST show and may be barred from participating in the OCA BEST program. OCA may give all decisions of sponsors and other bodies holding fairs and shows full faith and credit and may observe and enforce such decisions coextensively at shows sponsored by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.
18. Exhibitor Code of Conduct
19. Points System for OCA BEST
Point totals will be kept for each individual animal. There will be a 5-day limit to challenge BEST points, once the office makes a posting or changes a points posting. Winners will be determined for both steers and heifers in each of the following categories: Angus, Charolais Heifer, Percentage Charolais Heifer, Charolais Steer, Chianina, Chi Angus Heifer, Low Percentage Chianina Heifer, Hereford, Limousin/Lim-Flex Heifer, High Percentage Maine-Anjou Heifer, MaineTainer Heifer, Maine Angus Heifer, Maine-Anjou Steer, Shorthorn and ShorthornPlus, Purebred Simmental Heifer, Percentage Simmental Heifer, AOB, Market Heifer, and Crossbred.
If an OCA BEST nominated animal is sold during the show season, the points are not transferrable. Animals may be re-nominated under the new owner.
All OCA BEST shows will follow the same point system. Points will be based on the number of animals you beat in your class, with the exception of the champion and reserve champion animals. (For example, if there are 10 animals in your class the points for first place will be 10 points, second 9, third 8, fourth 7, fifth 6 and so on.) When an animal is named Grand Champion within their breed, they will be awarded points equivalent to the largest class within their breed, plus an additional 10 points. If the animal is named Reserve Champion within their breed, they will be awarded points equivalent to the largest class within their breed, plus an additional 5 points. Champion and Reserve Champion will not receive points for their individual class placings. (For example, if there are two Angus heifer classes, class 1 has 8 head and class 2 has 10 head. The class 1 winner is then named Grand Champion Angus Heifer, the points calculation would be as follows: 10+10= 20. If the Reserve Champion Angus Heifer was the class 1 second place the calculation would be as follows: 10+5= 15.) All top five crossbred steers will receive points, following the points received by the champion and the reserve, third place crossbred steer will receive 1 point less than the reserve champion, fourth place will receive 1 point less than third place and fifth place will receive 1 point less than fourth place. The following point system will be used for showmanship at OCA BEST Shows under 400 head: First 30, second 27, third 24, fourth 21, fifth 18, sixth 15, seventh 12, eighth 9, ninth 6 and tenth 3. For OCA BEST Shows with more than 400 head the following points system will be used for showmanship: First 40, second 36, third 32, fourth 28, fifth 24, sixth 20, seventh 16, eighth 12, ninth 8 and tenth 4.
The number of year-end awards that will be presented at the banquet will be based on the number of cattle in each division at the end of the BEST season. The awards will be figured according to each division (i.e.- if there are 5 Angus steers there will be a Champion and Reserve awarded; if there are 20 Angus heifers, there will be a Top 5 awarded). The shows will still only choose a Champion and Reserve Crossbred heifer at each BEST show. Breeds that have percentage divisions (Maine-Anjou, Charolais, Shorthorn & Simmental) will be tabulated separately by purebred and percentage animals and awarded accordingly.
• Heifer, Steer or Market Heifer division totaling 1‐19 head: Champion & Reserve
• Heifer, Steer or Market Heifer division totaling 20‐49 head: Top 5
• Heifer, Steer or Market Heifer division totaling 50‐99 head: Top 10
• Heifer, Steer or Market Heifer division totaling 100+ head: Top 15
Maximum Cattle Point Accumulation Cap - The maximum number of shows that will count toward the year-end point totals will be 13 shows. As an exhibitor you may attend more than 13 shows, however only your top 13 sets of points will count.
One Show Minimum to Receive Awards & be in the Final Points Standings - To be eligible to receive awards, including the trailer drawing, and be listed in the final points standings, you must attend a minimum of one BEST show during the show season. This includes bred-and-owned and Buckeye Breeders Series awards.
20. Novice Division - Updated for 2023-2024
A Novice Division for inexperienced youth of BEST eligible age who are nominating a BEST animal for the first through third year will operate off a separate point total, similar to the bred-and-owned awards. Novice participants will be listed in the overall points total, in addition to the novice points. Awards will be presented to the top 10 heifers, top 10 market animals, and the top 10 showmen in the final Novice points standings. These awards will be presented at the BEST awards banquet. The BEST Committee reserves the right to expand the awards for the Novice division subject to the number of Novice nominations. If a BEST Novice participant wins (places in the top 10 Novice Market Animals, Novice Heifers or Novice Showmanship) in their first year in the Novice division, they must move into the regular BEST points competition the following year. A BEST Novice participant can continue to participate in the Novice division for a second year, providing they did not win one of the awards listed above. You may only participate in the Novice Division for a maximum of three years.
21. Top Five Market Animals & Heifers
Each BEST show will also pick the top 5 market animals (includes market heifers) and heifers. (Those animals eligible to compete for the top 5 heifers will include only breed champions and reserves and the crossbred champion and reserve. Those animals eligible to compete for the top 5 market animals will include breed champions and reserves, the top 5 crossbred steers, selected from only first and second place animals and the champion and reserve market heifer.) Only champions will initially enter the ring for the overall champion competition. It is up to the individual show to decide if they will select, in no particular order, a top 5 breed steers prior to the exhibition of the market heifers and crossbred steers.
22. Bred-and-Owned Animals
Awards will be presented to the top 5 bred-and owned heifers and top 5 bred-and-owned steers in the final points standings. Crossbreds and market heifers are not eligible. These awards will be presented at the BEST awards banquet. To be recognized the BEST junior exhibitor must be listed as the breeder on the animal’s registration paper.
23. Buckeye Breeders Series Points Division – (see tabled appendix)
There is an additional $25.00 one-time per head nomination fee for BBS animals to be eligible to participate in BEST and accumulate BEST points. The BBS $25.00 nomination must be paid at the participant’s first show. The Ohio breeder of the BBS animal has the first responsibility to pay the $25.00 BBS nomination fee for any animals they have sold to juniors at the online form available by clicking here or the BEST exhibitor may pay the $25.00 BBS nomination, if it has not already been paid by the breeder, in addition to the $60.00 per head one-time BEST nomination fee, when they complete their online BEST nomination. Note – to exhibit BBS cattle in the Ohio Beef Expo junior show, all nominations for BBS animals must be paid by March 1, 2024, with the exception of Buckeye Breeders Series eligible cattle sold in the Ohio Beef Expo breed sales.
Out-of-state juniors who purchase Ohio BBS cattle will be eligible to participate in BEST and exhibit them at all BEST sanctioned shows, compete for points and over-all year-end awards, providing they meet all other program eligibility requirements. This change will provide Ohio breeders of BBS cattle increased marketing and recognition opportunities for their Ohio bred and born registered cattle.
Eligibility requirements for out-of-state BEST BBS participants include meeting BEST age qualifications. Their immediate family must be current OCA members. They must make a one-time $60.00 per head BEST nomination and have a current Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification. To be eligible to exhibit at the 2024 Ohio Beef Expo, out-of-state juniors must have exhibited in at least one previous BEST sanctioned show for the 2023-24 show season. Out-of-state BEST BBS participants may only show BBS eligible cattle at the Ohio Beef Expo.
Out-of-state juniors will be eligible to compete in BEST showmanship competitions, prior to the Ohio Beef Expo, but are not eligible to accumulate BEST points for showmanship placings. They are not eligible to participate in the Novice division of BEST. Showmanship at the 2024 Ohio Beef Expo will be open to Ohio exhibitors only.
For cattle to be eligible for BBS points, they must be registered and bred by an Ohio cattleman. ET calves and calves out of purchased bred cows are eligible if they list an Ohio cattleman as the breeder. Note that if BBS eligible cattle are registered in multiple owners’ names, as-long-as one of the owners listed on the registration paper is from Ohio, the animal is eligible for nomination.
For the Ohio Beef Expo BEST Show following each breed division champion drive there will be a BBS champion drive. The top 2 animals from each class will come back immediately following the breed’s final drive to show for the BBS final drive. The judge will pick the top 2 heifers and steers in each breed division with additional premiums paid to the Champion and Reserve Champion BBS cattle in each division. Breed associations may make additional premium donations to their breed’s BBS cattle. All breed association premium donations will be recognized. BBS placings and points will coincide with the show’s original class placings.
For more information see the Buckeye Breeders Series on the OCA BEST website at ohiocattle.org.
24. BEST Online Resources
BEST nominations and ALL online show entries must be made at best.ohiocattle.org. User registration and BEST nominations will open in November 2023. Show entries may be made starting on the Monday preceding the weekend of a BEST show through the closure of check-in at each show. Each exhibitor, BEST and non-BEST will need to create a username and password for each exhibitor. Under each username, they will log the cattle that they will be exhibiting for the season. At the first BEST sanctioned show, the animal’s EID tag number will be recorded and will be used to check that animal in at any future BEST show for the 2023-2024 show season. Once the participant and animal are entered into the system, show entries must be made prior to each show. Users must log in to enter their cattle prior to each BEST show. Exhibitors may then pay for show entries online with a credit card or they may choose to pay upon arrival at the BEST show. Computers will also be available at each BEST show to facilitate online check-in. Please note that all cattle MUST be entered in the show prior to bringing cattle through check-in.
25. BEST Scholarships
The BEST program offers a scholarship program based on academics and extracurricular activities for high school juniors and seniors or older pursuing a post-high school degree. Only 2023-2024 OCA BEST and Stockmanship participants are eligible to apply for BEST scholarships. Scholarships will be awarded to participants pursuing an Ag related degree and may be awarded to applicants who are entering a non-Ag related field of study (based on the number of applications). All scholarship applicants will also be required to submit an essay along with their scholarship application. The scholarship essay topic will be predetermined and posted on the OCA website. BEST scholarships are due on April 1 and will be awarded at the BEST Awards Banquet on May 4, 2024
26. BEST Photography Contest
The BEST program will also sponsor a photography contest with four categories including: BEST Shows & Activities, Landscapes, People, and Around the Farm. There will be four divisions of awards for the photography contest based on the showmanship age divisions plus an adult division. Adults are eligible to enter the photography contest for a fee of $10 per person which must be submitted by the April 1 entry deadline by contacting the OCA office. ALL Photography Contest entries MUST be submitted electronically by April 1 of the current BEST year. Digital submissions must be high resolution (2 MB or greater) and submitted through the OCA website. BEST photography contest awards will be presented at the end of the year BEST Program Awards Banquet.
27. Alcohol Prohibition
No alcohol will be permitted in the make-up area or show ring of BEST shows. The BEST Committee will strongly encourage sanctioned shows to hire local authorities to enforce legal drinking ages and open container laws.
28. Committee Decisions
The decisions of the BEST Committee, subject to approval of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association board of directors, on all issues pertaining to the BEST program and events at BEST sanctioned shows shall be final. The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and the OCA BEST program are not responsible for accidents.
¹Buckeye Breeders Series – Registered steer or heifer bred, born and raised by an Ohio breeder that has its own points division within the BEST program.
²One $75 OCA membership provides 12 months of member service and covers all siblings in the immediate family.
³BEST Nomination – a $60 one-time per head nomination fee to be paid by the BEST participant. The BEST $60 nomination must be paid for each animal nominated for the BEST program.
⁴Buckeye Breeders Series – a $25 one-time per head nomination fee to be paid by the Ohio breeder of the BBS eligible animal. (If not paid by the breeder, BEST BBS participant can pay the $25 nomination for their BBS animal through the BEST online software.) The BBS $25 nomination must be paid for each BBS animal nominated for the BEST program.