Trucks and livestock trailers filled the parking lot and side streets of the Missouri State Fairgrounds for the first Steers and Stripes show on March 5 and 6. The show combined the two largest jackpot shows in Missouri — the Mizzou Alpha Gamma Rho Classic, the chapter’s annual philanthropy that benefits youth in agriculture, and the Block and Bridle Steer and Heifer Show.
Pulling the shows together allows the organizations to share the costs and bring more people in at one time. Moving the shows from the Boone County Fairground to the Mathewson Exposition Center on the Missouri State Fairground also has benefits.
“The state fairgrounds will be a great space to hold the combined shows because we are looking at bringing in more entries, in state and out of state,” said Rachael Bonacker, Block and Bridle committee member. “The fairgrounds have done a great job [in] getting all the barns ready with new sand, and the new indoor wash rack will be open.”
The sounds of clippers, generators and blowers filled the air bright and early both days as exhibitors prepared their cattle for the show. Approximately 300 head of cattle were exhibited in both shows, Bonacker said.
Along with the heifer and steer shows, exhibitors could compete in showmanship. The intermediate division —ages 12 through 16— winner was Cole Murphy of Missouri. The champions in the senior division, ages 17 through 21, were Kaitlin Fifer and Mallory Early, both of Missouri.
Laura Bardot, Block and Bridle member, has helped with the shows the past two years. Although skeptical at first, Bardot said that after both organizations settled down and started planning, it ran very smoothly.
“I heard people giving compliments to both Alpha Gamma Rho and Block and Bridle for how well everything was going for college kids [to run] two shows at once,” Bardot said. “I look forward to next year and [the] years to come for our organizations and for the exhibitors.”
Both organizations are happy with the outcome of the shows and are already brainstorming plans to make improvements for next year, Bonacker said.
“We are very thankful to all who participated in the first annual Steers and Stripes show,” Bonacker said.