Thursday, July 28, 2011

Showdown 2011

We (new CEO Rob Smith and Commercial Fieldman Brian Good) had the pleasure of attending Showdown in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Showdown 2011 was a smashing success. It was an excellent display of quality livestock and, more importantly, an incredible display of extraordinary skill from over 100 youth representatives from coast to coast.

We are both impressed with the incredible creativity of the youths in their graphic design and marketing. The extent to which these youths are able to "ride for the brand" is right up there with the best. Even the experts in marketing Angus genetics are blown away by our youths efforts to promote Angus cattle and beef.

We saw some great Canadian genetics--including the Canadian Class Champion Sealin Creek Rosebud Lass 123X exhibited by Allison Speller. This year there were about 160 head cattle from all four western provinces and Ontario. It was as good a display of livestock as we've had at any type of Angus show, not just Showdown, for some time.

And while the cattle display was impressive, the main focus is not just the cattle; Showdown is about so much more. You don't have to show cattle to attend Showdown. For example, Alec Drury didn't show any cattle but he participated in and won three other events.

It was also great to see an active contingent of peewee participants, 12 youths under the age of 9. Emma Thomason was one of the crowd favourites. Nolan Chalmers told us that he "Learned everything he knows from his grandpa, John Duivenvoorden, but wanted to come to Showdown to learn another perspective." Very impressive insight, especially coming from such a young cattleman!

Everybody really enjoyed the cook-off competition. Rob tried to eat all the steaks presented to him. If you've ever attended Showdown and seen the cook-off competition, you know that there is a lot of beef! The audience had fun watching and was awed by the new CEO's ability to eat steak. Although some participants insisted they didn't know how to cook, the creativity shown was amazing. One team created a steak marinade with Dr. Pepper. While the steaks were on the grill, they sprinkled cinnamon on them. It was unusual but very tasty!

We can't say enough good things about Showdown and our youth participants. If our future is in good hands, then our future is now. The dedication, enthusiasm and wisdom of these youths is out there now. It doesn't have to wait for the future.

Posted by Rob Smith & Brian Good