July 11th through the 16th, Brookings, South Dakota welcomed 463 exhibitors from across the nation for the 2020 National Classic. On Sunday, July 12th, during opening announcements, AJSA members donated 573,951 pop tabs, equaling 453 pounds, to the Ronald McDonald Houses of South Dakota. Throughout the classic, exhibitors as young as eight years old and as old as 21 competed in required educational contests such as Cattlemen’s Quiz, Calvin Drake Genetic Evaluation Quiz, Judging Contest, and Sales Talk. From July 14th to the 15th, 697 head of cattle were evaluated during the Bred and Owned and Owned Shows. On the final day, July 16th, juniors competed in Showmanship. The event concluded with an awards ceremony naming the Top 20 in each age division (Junior, Intermediate, and Seniors) in respective contests, recognized merit scholarship recipients, awarded the Herdsman of the Year, and revealed the 2020-2021 AJSA Junior Board of Trustees. The ceremony underscores the importance of young people and their growth through AJSA. Despite challenges due to COVID-19, the event was successful due to the efforts and support of many individuals! The junior members and families who attended this National Classic are deeply grateful to so many who made this event happen. This National Classic will always be one to remember as our history continues to grow little hands into big leaders.

Gold Merit Award Winners
Whitney Olson- Alexandria, MN
Clay Sundburg- Arlington, IL
Cara Smith- Pleasant Garden, NC.
Kennedy Early- Leeton, MO
Lauren Glick- La Prairie, IL

Left to Right: Foundation Board members- Mark Smith, Scott Cowger, Cathy Eichecker, Tonya Phillips, Winners left to right- Kennedy Early, Clay Sundburg, Whitney Olson, Lauren Glick and Cara Smith

Silver Merit Award Winners
Emerson Tarr- LeRoy, IL
Jordan Stephens- Ewing, KY.
Kaitlyn Cowdrey- Russlleville, OH.
Lauren Trauernicht- Wymore, NE.
Leroy Stavinoha III- Eagle Lake, TX.
Mitchell Schmidt- Willow Lake, SD.
Nathan Pulliam- Perkinston, MS.
Rachel Callison- Verona, MO.
Kaitlyn Cloud- Carthage, MO.
Gaberille Nemitz- Canby, MN
Carli Henderson- Wiota, IA
Madyson Frederick- Chadwick, IL.

Pictured left to right: Emerson Tarr, Carli Henderson, Madison Frederick, Jordan Stephens, Katelyn Cowdrey, Rachel Callison, Gabrielle Nemitz, Kaitlyn Cloud, Mitchell Schmidt, Lauren Trauernicht. Not photographed- Leroy Robert Stavinoha III, Nathan Pulliam

Bronze Merit Award Winners
Audrey Redalen- MN
Cortney Zimmerman- WI
Nathan Videkovich- OH
Conley Schick - IL
Braxton Butler- TX
Chase Harker- IN
Anna Webel- IL
Beau Girdley- KY
Chloe Boitnott- IL
Claire Dorsey- IL
Emily Jennings- FL
Cole Glick- IL
Ethan Vanderwert- MO
Bentley McCullough- MT
Quinten Frederick- IL
Bayleigh Norman- TX
Luke Jeffiers- KY
Wyatt Jeffiers- KY
Kara Freebairn- IL
Taylor Harriman- SD
Whitney Walker- AR
Tyler Drach- IL
Audrey Wilson- MO
Garrett Walther- IN
Harrison Wicker- IN

Names coming soon

Left to Right: Audrey Redalen, Nathan Videkovich, Anna Webel, Emily Jennings, Quinten Frederick, Whitney Walker, Chase Harker, Audrey Wilson, Conley Schick, Cortney Zimmerman, Claire Dorsey, Bentley McCullough, Bayleigh Norman, Cole Glick, Taylor Harriman, Tyler Drach NOT EVERYONE WAS PRESENT of the winners 

2020 Herdsman of the Year- Whitney Olson of Alexandria, MN
The AJSA Herdsman of the Year award is an honor bestowed upon one AJSA member of the National Classic each summer. The award is intended for an individual who gracefully commands the respect of both juniors and adults in the Simmental industry and upholds the honor and dignity of a future cattleman. The person's pride in his or her cattle, both in the show ring and at home, is evident to fellow members and breeders across the Simmental and Simbrah industry.
Herdsman of the Year received tuition to the Graham School for Cattlemen and a belt buckle.
Sponsored by Simmental Breeders Sweepstakes and Rockin P Livestock in honor of Larry Phillips.

Click for information and to register your animals for the Steer Profitability Competition. The registration deadline is October 2,, 2020.