Young ranchers earn honours

The Calgary Stampede’s International Youth Livestock program for 2013 shone a spotlight on the exceptional young people

The Calgary Stampede’s International Youth Livestock program for 2013 shone a spotlight on the exceptional young people who are the future of our agricultural industry.

The Stampede recognized 55 of the best and brightest agricultural youth in a special tribute on the stage of the evening Grandstand Show.

There is much more to the International Youth Livestock program than just applause. On Saturday, there was also a rich distribution of prizes and scholarships totalling nearly $80,000 to recipients whose ages will range from nine through twenty.

Preceding the 31st annual UFA Steer Classic in the Big Top, four Supreme Champions – in purebred beef, commercial beef, dairy and sheep classes – were announced. To qualify for an IYL Supreme Championship, teenaged competitors had to have already topped their class at the lead-up to Stampede – the competitions held in July in Olds.

Applicants who competed in Olds then came to the Stampede on July 13 for the International Youth Livestock scholarship interviews. Fifty-five scholarship winners were presented to the Grandstand Show crowd.

In the cattle category, the Supreme Champions were Chase Miller of Cremona for Commercial, Kathryn Dolliver of Stettler for Purebred and Casey Morey of Rochester for Dairy.

One of the deserving recipients of a scholarship was the Supreme Grand Champion in the sheep category – Shannon McLaughlin of Whitecourt.

The 10 $2,000 scholarship winners included Dakota Townsend of Sylvan Lake and Jessica Sperber of Rimbey. Senior recipients of $1,000 scholarships included Tyson Matejka of Ponoka.

Junior-aged participants, aged nine to 11, were also on the list. Among the $500 IYL scholarships was Kelli-Rae Sieben of Ponoka.