HARRISBURG, Pa. — If Patti Hushon wanted to start her final show off with a bang — then mission accomplished.
Although she was recognized for her 10 years of service, dedication and enthusiasm in getting the Premier National Junior Shows started, Hushon wasn’t the main focus of the afternoon’s events.
Hushon and her team of assistants organized a commemorative 10th anniversary that centered on celebrating the people the show is all about — the youth exhibitors.
Held during the 50th All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, the Premier National Junior Shows kicked off their anniversary with a nail-biting opening ceremony.
With more than 800 exhibitors competing and youth attendance reaching an all-time high, Sunday’s festivities was crowded to standing room only in the Farm Show Complex’s Small Arena.
What were they all interested in seeing or winning? More than $35,000 worth of prizes and live calves donated by agribusinesses and All-American dairy breeders to show their thanks and support of the youths.
For example, Select Sires donated five units of semen, plus a backpack, to one youth from each of the seven breeds.
While walking away with a new set of clippers, digital camera or free photo shoot for an animal was a pretty good deal, what everyone really wanted was to take home a new calf.
After the 2012 show, Hushon approached a leading breeder and All-American participant in each breed, asking if they’d donate a show-age calf to be randomly awarded at the 2013 show. They all agreed.
A prime example of that generosity, Hushon said, was Jake Skinner of Mercersburg, Pa. Without a quality Milking Shorthorn calf to give away, Skinner — a Holstein and Red and White breeder — used his own money to purchase a calf, truck it from Minnesota and arrange for its transfer and care until Sunday’s giveaway.
With anticipation high, screams loud and stomping louder, the calf giveaway started with the Ayrshire.
The calf, Maple Dell Burdette Gloria, was donated by 50-year All-American participant David Patrick of Maple Dell Ayrshires, Woodbine, Md.
As the winner’s name was read, a hush came across the stands and everyone waited for the winner to appear. After a 10 second countdown, no winner emerged. The rules coming into play, a second name was drawn and a lucky 9-year-old raced to his new calf. Keenan Thygesen, Tunbridge, Vt., quietly took the halter and gave Gloria a hug.
“This is my first year here,” Keenan said. “I’m really happy with what I’ve won.”
Next up was the Brown Swiss. The calf, born in June 2013, was Top Acres Wonder Smile-ET, donated by Wayne and Connie Sliker of Top Acres Brown Swiss, St. Paris, Ohio.
As her name was called, Kaitlyn Muncie, Eighty Four, Pa., raced to the calf with tears in her eyes. Because Smile was too young to make the trip to Harrisburg, a stand-in calf got all Kaitlyn’s hugs and kisses.
The next lucky winner was Hannah Wilson, Middletown, Md. She’ll be taking home Sniders GEO Watchout, a Guernsey calf donated by Snider Homestead Guernseys and the Berneta Gable family of New Enterprise, Pa.
“I’m tickled to death to have such an enthusiastic little girl to win,” said Berneta Gable, who serves on the show’s board of directors.
Next, quietly accepting her new Holstein calf was Courtney Campbell, Gratz, Pa. While elated with her win, Campbell could only smile and hug donator James Burdette to show her appreciation.
The Holstein calf, Windy-Knoll-View Proctor, was donated by 50-year All-American exhibitor Windy Knoll View Farm, operated by the James and Nina Burdette family of Mercersburg, Pa.
Jeff and Michele Reasner of Jemi Jerseys, Newburg, Pa., donated the Jersey calf. The October 2012 calf, JEMI Getaway From Maitai, was won by Catherine Savage, Dickerson, Md.
Michele Reaser served as the Jersey representative to the show’s board of directors for 18 years.
The Milking Shorthorn calf donated by Skinner was won by Madisyn Wright, Dryden, N.Y. The fall calf, NIXS Juke Box, comes from NIX Milking Shorthorns, the Tim Nix family of Plato, Minn.
Finally, the Red and White heifer was awarded to Austin Mowry, New Enterprise, Pa. Del-Hollow Farm and the Dana Erway family of Coudersport, Pa., donated the spring yearling, Del-Hollow Golden Jewel-Red.
Dana Erway has served as the Red and White representative on the board of directors, and he helped get the junior show started.
Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett was there to see the calves awarded and offer a few closing remarks. He and Agriculture Secretary George Greig also visited exhibitors, including all of the 50-year participants.
“This is just a great opportunity to showcase Pennsylvania’s, and the nation’s, dairy industry, our children, the people involved,” Corbett said. “All the kids learn the value of hard work.”
The All-American and the Premier National Junior Shows “encourage responsibility,” Greig said. “The kids realize that someone has to take care of the animals. ... It gives us hope because of the food cliff we’re going to see in the future with the growing world population.”
The following is a list of the companies and the products they donated to the Premier National Junior Shows opening ceremonies. Each company donated seven prizes, one for a youth exhibitor from each breed.
Nasco – feed tub plus show supplies: Jared Helsley, Brianna Proctor, Allen Cook, Brianna Balmer, Willow Voegtlen, Jayden Andrews and Haley Groat.
Andis – clippers with replacement blades: Benjamin Dye, Kyle Barton, Christa Ealy, Deidra Bollinger, Bailey Carper, Alyssa Reamley and Josh Kline.
Breed Publications – free ads: Kyle Sharer, Ryan Guidice, Marc Galante, Emilie Cole, Brooklyn Peters, Lauren Elslary and Hanna Heagy.
BOGS Boots - $100 gift certificate: Cassandra Plummer, Wesley Noble, Evelyn Ripley, Jamie Arbaugh, Troy Longenecker, Wilson Nickel and Sabrina Long.
Bonnie Mohr – framed print: Montana Cole, Brooke Gales, Travis Covert, Shay Miller, Kennedy Crothers, David Riley and Tyler Heagy.
Cattle Exchange – show halters: James Riley, Elizabeth Hyman, Samantha Klinger, Madison Iager, Stephanie Younker, Kara Yannesse and Cory Debaugh.
Clip Cows.com – tail clips and topline brush: Ian McKissick, Taryn True, Brooke Bortner, Dalton Nolan, Emma Ream, Carrie Rhoades and Jared Wetzel.
Clipper Parts & Repair – blow dryer: Jordan Helsley, Hannah Lehman, Cody Stephenson, Haley Johnson, Justin Hamilton, Dylan Rotz and Cael Hembury.
Cybil Fisher Photography – free animal photo: Rebecca Worthington, Hannah Riser, Jacob Poole, Keith Koerner, Jasmine Noteboom, Treven Andrews and Cassie Menendez
Deb's Studio-Deb Cornman – ceramic hand-painted pitcher: Morgan Murray, Becky Deeter, Jeff Thurston, Matthew Deome, Madison Manges, Jayden Andrews and William Cree.
Elanco – show halters: Dayton Pitzer, Mackenzie Kovach, Cole Miller, Kali Miller, Jenna Wetzel, Seth Whiting and Caden Hudson.
HFH-Jeff Lovelidge – digital cameras: Danielle Varner, Megan Peila, Tessie Weant, Rachel Ulrich, Colton Lusk, Ravyn Bashore and Nicholas Miller.
Hoard's Dairyman – educational books and a 2 year subscription: James Savage, Eric Hill, Macy McDonald Walason, Jenna Metzler, Jared Kline, Morgan Colvin and Jared Widerman.
Holstein International - $50: Hailey Reynolds, Aaron Spangler, Tanner McDonald Walason, Rylie Hoffman, Hailey Feusner, Emily Wingert and Dylan Hill.
Merck Animal Health – Hats, note pads, hand warmers, knives, flashlights: Holden Cole, Devon Greenwood, Grace Marchezak, Dawson Hostetter, Mason Mazzaro, Andrew Laffey, Jr, and Breanne Copenhaver.
Performance Probiotics – probiotic bucker: Toni Baker, Cara Trotter, Douglas Robinson, Chase Savage, Jocelyn Snyder, Samuel Rhoades and Cecilia Morse.
Prima Tech - boots: Lucas Walley, Ethan Foor, Karli Stoltzfus, Brock Liddle, Olivia Lesher, Alex Bonavita and Devin Hostetter.
Red Crest Farm-Jake Skinner – embroidered jacket: Meagen Olsen, Kaylah Gulley, Madison Davis, Coy Campbell, Nick Johnson, Hannah Pettit and Rose Morian.
Ruby's Sewing-Ruby Bollinger – embroidered garmet bag: Adam Buckenmeyer, Jaralyn Zimmerman, G. Marchezak, Samuel Dulin, Owen Hartranft, Millena Bashore and Thomas Grow.
Scottdale Supply & Sullivan Supply – show supplies: Chase Eller, Michala Kuhlman, Trisha Covert, Sierra Pettit, Jacklyn Booth, Amanda Hall and Kalli Schwenk.
Select Sires – 5 units of semen and a backpack: Miranda Hernley, Michaela Danley, Jamie Trotter, Katelyn Neff, Lexi Ream, Mary Sweeney and Meagan Wright.
Tractor Supply Co. - $100 gift certificates: Caitlin Stoner, Jordan Anderson, Kolby Stoltzfus, Eleni Rigas, Paige Keninitz, Jacob Geiser and Samantha Kinter.
Virtus Nutrition – wash pail, soap and a brush: Stacey Jo Plulmstead, Adam Tuzikow, Daniel Ripley, Lauren Nell, Austin Kopper, Jaydyn Isiminger and Julianne Holler.
Wrangler – gift certificate: Alexis Winkler, Kate Wright, Melissa Ells, Madison Cattau, Taylor Pool, Mason Davis and Madison Weaver.
Purina Animal Health: All exhibitors of the PNJS received a Bonnie Mohr Model Cow poster.