Local exhibitors shine at Farm Show

By on January 8, 2014

Jessica Rose Spangler and Philip Gruber, Special to the Review

Matthew Mitchell of Reinholds owned the top breeding beef bull at the 98th Pennsylvania Farm Show.

His bull, LVS Brilliance 1305, continued his undefeated show season by being named the supreme champion bull after being selected earlier in the day as the grand champion Angus bull.

Ephrata’s Madison Weaver owned the supreme champion heifer of the youth breeding beef show. (Photo by Pa. Department of Agriculture)

Ephrata’s Madison Weaver owned the supreme champion heifer of the youth breeding beef show. (Photo by Pa. Department of Agriculture)

Mitchell, 18, said the bull was only born in February 2013 but has already made a name for himself in the Angus show ring.

At the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky., in November, the bull was named champion winter bull calf, although at the time a farm in California owned him.

Mitchell is the son of Jeff and Susan Mitchell, whose Mitchell Farms consists of 110 acres, three broiler chicken houses and a 50-head Angus cow-calf operation.

“It feels really good” to walk away a winner. “The bull is leaving here and getting on a truck headed straight for Denver. Both (Farm Show) judges said he belongs there,” Matt Mitchell said, referring to the National Western Stock Show on Jan. 11-26 in Colorado.

The Mitchells had multiple other winners during the Farm Show, including Matt’s Angus senior heifer champion in the youth show, PVF Proven Queen 2173.

A fellow northern Lancaster County resident captured the supreme champion female title in the Farm Show’s youth breeding beef competition.

Madison Weaver of Ephrata is the owner of Gambles Shadoe 2052. The heifer first won the Angus grand champion female title, granting her presence in the supreme champion competition where she came out on top.

“It was a strong show out there today. The supreme drive was very strong,” judge Gene Steiner of Ohio said.

“They’re very complete,” Steiner said of the champions. They will “continue to enhance the red meat industry in the U.S.”

Judge Ryan Rathmann of Texas, like Steiner, was judging at the Farm Show for the first time. It was also the first Pennsylvania show for the Lubbock native, who has judged in 30 states.

Even though Mitchell’s Angus bull is still young, “he was a real outlier for muscle shape and rib shape, and he was still very correct structurally,” Rathmann said. “It was just really exceptional for an Angus bull.”

For his first time judging in Pennsylvania, Rathmann said, “I don’t know what I expected, but it exceeded my expectations.”

Pennsylvanians should be “real proud of the job they’re doing and the genetics that they’re generating,” he said.

More than 600 breeding beef cattle and their owners didn’t let the bitterly cold and sometimes icy weather keep them from participating at this year’s Farm Show.

On Monday, the cattle were paraded through the Farm Show Complex’s Equine Area as judges Rathmann and Steiner whittled down their favorites.

At the end of competition, female and bull champions from each breed were gathered for selection of supreme champion heifer and bull.

The selection for supreme champion was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday, but due to sub-zero temperatures and arctic wind chills, officials moved the competition up an hour so exhibitors and their animals could make it home sooner.

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