Grand Island, NE –The Aksarben Stock Show will transition to junior livestock show format in 2019. Under the junior show model, youth from nine to 19 years of age are eligible for the competition with no prerequisite of youth organization affiliation.
Greg Harder, stock show director, said the change will give the 92-year-old Aksarben Stock Show growth opportunities. “Today’s agricultural youth are involved in 4-H, FFA, breed associations or open class competitions, making them diverse in their affiliations,” he stated. “We want to make sure more junior exhibitors can show at Aksarben in 2019.”
Harder said part of the expansion strategy meant opening doors to additional states. “We added four more,” he said. “Arkansas, Montana, Indiana and Wisconsin will join the existing 10 state family of eligibility.” Rules for the 2019 event will be written by Aksarben Stock Show management, versus the previous system of rules within each state operating independently. “It’s very difficult to run a fair and unified show when everyone plays by different rules,” Harder said. “We’ve brought those rules in-house to a sole playbook that everyone abides by.”
Bernadette (Bernie) O’Rourke, extension youth livestock specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the animal science departments said, “Wisconsin appreciates the opportunity for our youth to take part in the long tradition of Aksarben. We anticipate our youth will benefit from connecting with others and continuing to expand on their knowledge of animals through knowledge and professional contests. “
Officials from Nebraska State Fair, show producer, noted that the show expansion will be a benefit to Grand Island businesses, bringing more people to town. Livestock facilities built in 2010 for Nebraska State Fair will continue to house the show.
The Aksarben Stock Show will be held Sept 26-29, 2019 in Grand Island, NE.For more information visit AksarbenStockShow.com.