The Virginia Beef Expo, a three-day event highlighting the state’s beef industry, will take place April 19-21 at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds, Harrisonburg, Va.
The three-day event will include pure-bred cattle sales, a commercial heifer sale, a large trade show, educational activities and contests.
New this year will be the Virginia Beef Ambassador competition on Friday, April 19, part of a national program testing youth knowledge of the beef industry and current issues.
The winner of the state competition will head to Arkansas later this summer to compete for a spot on the national Ambassador Team, which travels the country educating the public about beef industry issues and misconceptions.
The state competition is sponsored by the Virginia Beef Industry Council.
A family-oriented, picnic-style barn party, featuring games, music and other activities, will kick things off from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 18. Sale cattle consignors, sponsors and trade show exhibitors will receive complimentary tickets; additional tickets will be sold to the public.
In addition to the cattle sales and Beef Ambassador competition, Friday’s events also will include a Virginia Cattlewomen program, Beef Queen contest, the state FFA tractor driving contest and youth stockmen contest.
Speakers for the cattlewomen’s meeting are Scott Greiner, a Virginia Tech Extension beef specialist, on “Navigating Cattle Performance Data for Your Goals,” and Marnie Caldwell and Rosalea Potter of Buffalo Creek Farm in Lexington, Va., on “Marketing Beef and Building a Business.”
Those attending the meeting will also have a chance to operate Bobcat skid steer loaders with instruction provided by Valley Implement Sales of Harrisonburg.
Contestants in the Beef Queen contest will give a three- to five-minute speech on a positive aspect of the beef industry. They will also have a brief interview and answer questions from a panel of judges.
The winner will receive a $500 scholarship from the Virginia Cattlemen’s Foundation and will represent the cattle industry at various events throughout the year, including the state chili cook-off, the state fair, the agribusiness dinner, the beef industry convention and next year’s Virginia Beef Expo.
The runner-up and third-place contestants will receive $300 and $200 scholarships, respectively.
Saturday’s events include a youth beef showmanship contest and youth shows for Hereford, Shorthorn, Simmental, Red Angus and all other breeds.
The expo wraps up Sunday with the youth commercial heifer, steer and Angus shows.
For more information, visit www.vacattlemen.org.