PIERRE - When 16 youth beef exhibitors had the chance to teach state legislators a thing or two about showing cattle in the third annual Legislative Beef Show at the 2011 South Dakota State Fair, it created a positive buzz about agriculture.
The Legislative Beef Show featured 16 state legislators, each paired with a youth 4-H or FFA beef exhibitor. The youth coaches prepared the animals for the competition and offered the legislators a crash course in beef cattle showmanship. The state legislators showed their animals in the arena and competed against one another for title of Legislative Showmanship Champion.
Emerging as Grand Champion Showman was Sen. Larry Tidemann. He was coached by Caroline Hansen, Spink County 4-Her from Turton. Reserve honors went to Sen. Shantel Krebs who received pointers from Clark County's Laura Alexander of Henry.
For his efforts, Sen. Tidemann received a gold belt buckle, sponsored by First Dakota National Bank. His name will also be engraved on a traveling Legislative Showmanship Competition trophy, sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, South Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Service, South Dakota State Fair, the South Dakota Cattleman's Association, and First Dakota National Bank. A trophy presentation ceremony will take place during the 2012 Legislative session.
Rep. Charles Hoffman, the 2010 Legislative Beef Show Champion, added commentary alongside Lucas Lentsch, SDDA's Director of Ag Development, who was the event's MC.
Others coaching the legislators were South Dakota 4-H and FFA members: Samantha and Andy Keller of Hoven, Lexi and Kade Opheim of Mound City, Jill Stern of Garden City, Hanna and John Roe of Hazel, David Strain of Sturgis, Nicolette Schmit of Willow Lake, Alexa Montagne of Elk Point, Dayton VanderWal of Volga, Miranda Lakness of Hayti, Andrea Paulson of Garden City, and Cole Holtz of Roscoe.
Participating legislators included Reps. Kristin Conzet of Rapid City, Peggy Gibson of Huron, Dennis Feickert of Aberdeen, Paul Dennert of Columbia, Susan Wismer of Britton, Patty Miller of McCook Lake, Dean Schrempp of Lantry, David Sigdestad of Pierpont, Edward Van Gerpen of Avon, Jim White of Huron, and James Schaefer of Kennebec, and Sens. Dan Lederman of Dakota Dunes, Larry Tidemann of Brookings, Shantel Krebs of Renner, Jason Frerichs of Wilmot, and Tom Hansen of Huron.
Photos from the Legislative Showmanship Competition can be viewed on the South Dakota Department of Agriculture's Facebook page.