youth livestock

COVID-19 disrupted youth livestock auctions with many moving online or using a hybrid of in-person and online. Could the transition be a precursor for future auctions? Pictured here, a youth exhibitor at the 2018 Tulsa State Fair in Tulsa, OK. Photo by Anna Miller.

First, the cancellation of the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) and now the announcement of the cancellation of the 2021 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (FWSSR) scheduled for Jan. 15 through Feb. 6.

“This is a heartbreaking decision for our leadership and was not made lightly,” said Stock Show President and General Manager Brad Barnes. “We wanted to find a way to safely hold a show for our 1.2 million guests, exhibitors and competitors. Unfortunately, the challenges we face to create practical and enforceable protocols and procedures to comply with COVID-19 guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are extremely daunting.

“The uncertainty of the virus potential spread across Texas and the nation during the upcoming flu season was another major factor weighing on our decision.”

Consultations with local health authorities determined the FWSSR would rank as a “very high risk” for the spread of COVID-19. Daily attendance can exceed 140,000 people as people throughout Texas and 40 other states fill into the various brand and buildings to see the exhibitors, livestock, shows and competitions.

“Today, we’re in another war with an enemy that’s invisible and quite deadly,” said Barnes. “We feel a responsibility to be proactive in order that COVID-19 is brought under control sooner rather than later. For fans of Fort Worth’s oldest and largest public event, our common goal is to help bring the pandemic to an end, so future stock shows won’t be in jeopardy.”

As WLJ previously reported, two venues have announced shows for livestock associations to showcase their cattle, hold auctions and have competitions. Those shows are the Cattlemen’s Congress at the OKC Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City and the Nebraskan Livestock Show at the Grand Island Livestock Complex Authority (GILCA) in Nebraska. As the weeks progress, new information on these shows is being released, including which breed associations are participating at what venue.

The Nebraskan Livestock Show

Bill Angell, manager of the Nebraskan Livestock Show, told WLJ they are working closely with the staff at NWSS to coordinate the event. The show will be held at the GILCA’s four arenas from Jan. 8 and will finish on Jan. 24 with the Nebraskan Prospect show.

Angell said all the cattle breed associations will be there in some capacity with junior shows and some associations, which generally only have an event at NWSS, such as the Miniature Hereford Association having their world show at the event.

Breed associations hosting shows at the Nebraskan Livestock Show include: American Aberdeen Association; American Galloway Breeders Association; American Highland Cattle Association; American Salers Association; International Yak Association; North American Piedmontese Cattle Association; and North American South Devon Association.

The schedule is being updated daily, according to Angell, and can be found at

Cattlemen’s Congress

More details are being released from the inaugural Cattlemen’s Congress held from Jan. 2-17. The event was formed to allow breed associations, cattlemen and cattlewomen to participate in events that would typically occur at NWSS and FWSSR. The staff from the Oklahoma Youth Expo (OYE) will be coordinating the event. OYE is the largest youth event in the state of Oklahoma, with over 7,000 exhibitors from all over the state, according to their website.

A tentative schedule shows the arrival and stalling beginning on the first couple days and concludes with the Junior Market Steer Show on Saturday, Jan. 16 and the Open Prospect Steer Show on Sunday, Jan. 17. The show will utilize four different arenas on the fairgrounds for all events.

The following breed associations have scheduled their show at the Cattlemen’s Congress:

American Angus Association; American Chianina Association; American International Charolais Association; American Gelbvieh Association; American Hereford Association; American Maine-Anjou Association; American Simmental Association; American Shorthorn Association;

International Brangus Breeders Association; North American Limousin Association; Red Angus Association of America; and Santa Gertrudis Breeders International.

Premium book and entry information are forthcoming and can be found at

More information on dates, events, entry deadlines and hotel information for each show can be found on each breed association’s website. — Charles Wallace, WLJ editor


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