Youth from across the state came to Hutchinson to compete for cash premiums and scholarships during the 86th Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS), Oct. 5-7. The largest youth livestock show in Kansas featured 723 4-H and FFA members from 91 counties exhibiting 1,519 head of livestock. This is the largest number of livestock shown at KJLS since 1988.
Cooper Henson of Holcomb led the grand champion market steer, a 1,337 lb. crossbred entry. His steer bested a field of 102 in the show, which was sponsored by Merck Animal Health. Pre-determined cash premiums were awarded to the top five animals in both the market and breeding shows for all four species. Henson received a $4,000 premium for his steer. The reserve champion steer, weighing 1,362 lbs., came from the Charolais division and was owned by Lauren Aust from La Cygne, who received a $2,000 premium for her steer. Third overall, worth $1,000, went to the champion Maine-Anjou steer owned by Baylor Deyoe of Ulysses. Placing fourth overall and earning a $750 premium was the reserve champion crossbred exhibited by Martin Beikman from St. Francis. Fifth went to the reserve Charolais steer owned by Tess Wolney of Hiawatha. Wolney earned $500 for her steer.
Ashley Kennedy of Satanta led an Angus female to supreme champion honors in the breeding heifer show, sponsored by Merck Animal Health. Kennedy was awarded a $1,000 premium. Reserve supreme champion, worth a $750 premium, went to a commercial heifer led by Abby Wood from Leavenworth. There were 313 heifers entered in the show. Third overall, which earned $500, went to the champion Hereford heifer shown by Ben Jensen of Courtland. Abby Wood from Leavenworth also led the fourth overall heifer, which was the champion MaineTainer and earned $400. Fifth overall, worth $300, was the reserve commercial heifer, also exhibited by Ashley Kennedy of Satanta.
In the senior beef showmanship division, Jayce Dickerson from Paradise was champion showman. Reserve went to Megan Cranwell of Hays. Jase Beltz from Canton was named champion showman in the intermediate division. Josi Schrader from Wells was reserve. The champion showman in the junior division was James Hoffman from Effingham. Reserve was awarded to Cheyenne Brunker of Ottawa.
Jenna DeRouchey of St. Marys guided her 290 lb. Berkshire to the grand champion market hog title, which earned her $2,000. A 275 lb. dark crossbred owned by Cedar Caruso from Paola was reserve grand champion hog of the
137-head show, sponsored by Seaboard Foods. Caruso’s hog garnered a $1,500 premium. Third overall, worth $1,000, went to Brody Nemecek of Iola, with his reserve champion dark crossbred. Kyser Nemecek from Iola owned the champion Duroc that placed fourth overall and earned $750. Fifth overall, earning a $500 premium, was the champion Hampshire exhibited by Kason Ramsey from Garden City.
An entry from the commercial division, owned by Kirbie Stroup of Parker, was named supreme champion in the 207-head gilt show, also sponsored by Seaboard Foods. Stroup received a $750 premium for the gilt. Courtney Baetz from Downs exhibited the reserve supreme, a commercial gilt worth $600. Third overall and earning $500 was the champion Yorkshire gilt owned by James DeRouchey from St. Marys. In fourth was the Berkshire champion, which garnered $350 and was exhibited by Lane Higbie of Quenemo. Kason Ramsey from Garden City exhibited the fifth overall gilt, which was the champion Duroc. The gilt earned a $250 premium.
James DeRouchey from St. Marys was named champion in senior swine showmanship. The reserve champion was Brody Nemecek from Iola. In the intermediate division, Calla Higbie from Quenemo was awarded the champion title. Reserve was Kyser Nemecek from Iola. Anah Higbie from Quenemo was named champion in the junior division. The reserve champion was Gentry Ward of Paola.
For the third consecutive year, Jillian Keller from Piqua exhibited the grand champion market lamb, a 150 lb. entry from the blackface division that earned a $2,000 premium. The reserve grand champion market lamb, a 149 lb. blackface, was shown by Kylar Lee of Burlington. The lamb earned $1,000. Third overall, also from the blackface division, was owned by Dillon McNickle from Mound City, and garnered $900. A Southdown lamb exhibited by Becca Paine of Hutchinson was chosen as fourth overall and brought $600. Hannah Whetstone from Howard exhibited the fifth overall market lamb, also from the blackface division, earning $300. A total of 244 lambs were shown. The market lamb show was sponsored by Cargill.
The supreme registered breeding ewe, garnering a $500 premium, was the champion Hampshire, shown by Carson Keller from Piqua. The reserve supreme champion ewe was the reserve Hampshire, led by Kylar Lee of Burlington who received a $300 premium for the ewe. Third overall, worth $200, was a Dorset ewe owned by Emma Knappenberger from Johnson. The champion Southdown and fourth overall registered breeding ewe, earning $100, was shown by Allyson Rietcheck from Gardner. Brady Ketzner from Bird City led the champion AOB, which finished fifth overall and received a $50 premium. There were 69 head shown.
An ewe led by Kylar Lee of Burlington bested 153 others to take supreme champion honors in the commercial breeding ewe show. Lee’s ewe garnered a $500 premium. Owning the reserve supreme, worth $400, was Mason Rookstool of Wamego. The third overall commercial ewe, earning $300, was exhibited by Carson Keller from Piqua. A ewe led by Allyson Rietcheck from Gardner claimed fourth overall and earned $200. Fifth overall was a commercial ewe exhibited by Brady Ketzner of Bird City, who received a $100 premium. Cargill sponsored both breeding ewe shows.
In the senior sheep showmanship division, Becca Paine, Hutchinson, was named champion. Reserve champion was Clayton Brillhart from Fort Scott. Tate Crystal from Uniontown took home top honors in the intermediate division. Reserve went to Carter Nash of Parsons. In the junior division, Audrina Marcy, Leoti, was named champion showman. Brecken Nelson, Tribune, took home reserve.
Hagen Draper-Egea from Louisburg received grand champion honors and a $2,000 premium for the 88 lb. entry in the market goat show, sponsored by Cargill. A total of 158 head was shown. Becca Paine from Hutchinson showed the reserve grand champion market goat, which weighed 93 lbs. and earned $1,000. Third, worth $750, went to a goat shown by Reilly Stewart of Baldwin City. Maison Flory from Lawrence showed the fourth place market goat and earned $500. Fifth overall was an entry from Brody Nemecek of Iola that brought $400.
Julianna Sprague from Kincaid showed the supreme champion commercial doe kid. Her entry bested 133 others to claim the honor and earn $750. Kami McComb of Pratt exhibited the reserve supreme champion doe, worth $500. Third overall went to an entry from Logan Harris from Tribune, which was worth $400. Chosen for fourth was a commercial doe owned by Clayton Brillhart of Fort Scott that earned $300. Fifth overall, worth $200, was a doe shown by Reilly Stewart from Baldwin City. Cargill also sponsored the commercial doe kid show.
Luke Falkenstein of Oswego was the top showman in senior goat showmanship. Brody Nemecek from Iola was reserve. In the intermediate division, Jaci Falkenstein of Oswego was champion. Alyssa Clark of Copeland was awarded reserve. Kaycee Clark of Copeland was named champion in the junior division. Kalyn Ifland from Gaylord was awarded reserve.
KJLS presented $19,900 in scholarships to 10 exhibitors. Those receiving $2,500 scholarships were Grace Aust, La Cygne; Taylor Dieball, Little River; Rylee Schrock, Brookville; and Scuyler Zenger, Washington. Three students were awarded $2,000 scholarships, including Makenzie Cox, Cheney; Eva Hinrichsen, Westmoreland; and Tessa Beeman, Hamilton. Students receiving $1,300 stipends were Becca Paine, Hutchinson; Brandy Rigg, Douglass; and Michael Wright, Olsburg. Since the inception of the KJLS scholarship program in 1993, a total of 323 exhibitors have been awarded $450,900.
The LEAD Challenge allowed exhibitors to learn about current industry issues and apply that information in a competitive environment. All those entered in the challenge participated in the LEAD Listen & Learn, showmanship, skills stations and interviews. Exhibitors placing first through fifth in the senior division were Taylor Dieball, Little River; Brody Nemecek, Iola; Kara Riffel, Westmoreland; Rachel Sebesta, Wilson and Cadence Wheeler, Neodesha. First through fifth in the intermediate division were, in order of finish, Calla Higbie, Quenemo; Lane Higbie, Quenemo; Addison Russell, Downs; Ashley Peters, Lehigh; and Jase Beltz, Canton. In the junior division, first through third were Anah Higbie, Quenemo; Ella Neher, Pfeifer; Cheyenne Brunker, Ottawa; Gabe Oltman, El Dorado; and Vanessa Jones, Wamego.
A team from Kansas State University (K-State) won the senior college competition at the Mid-America Classic Judging Contest, held in conjunction with KJLS. Iowa State University (ISU) placed second. Payton Dahmer with K-State was the top scoring senior college individual. He was followed by Macy Marek from ISU. Butler Community College (BCC) won the sophomore division in the junior college contest, with Hutchinson Community College  finishing second. High individuals in the junior college sophomore contest were Skyler Scotten with BCC in first and Daniel Dobbs, also with BCC, in second. A team from Northern Oklahoma College (NOC) won the freshman division, while Casper College placed second. Andrew Anderson of NOC outscored all other freshmen. The second place freshman was Walker Hemphill with South Plains College.
The Kansas Livestock Association and Kansas State University serve as major show sponsors. In addition to Cargill, Merck Animal Health and Seaboard Foods, other sponsors included Kansas Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau Financial Services, Friends of KJLS, the Kansas Department of Agriculture and American AgCredit. In addition to these groups, volunteers from across the state also help organize and put on the show.


Grady Allen
10th in class 12 – Commercial Doe Kid
12th in class 7 – Meat Goat
1st in class 7 – Market Lamb
2nd in class 12 – Commercial Ewe Lamb
2nd in class 2 – Dorset Breeding Ewe
4th in class 21 – Market Lamb

Allyson Rietcheck
13th in class 10 – Meat Goat
4th Overall Breeding Ewe
4th Overall Commercial Ewe
Camden Rietcheck, Gardner
6th in class 5 – Angus Breeding Heifer

Spring Hill

Aubrey Hamilton
2nd in class 1 – Dorset Breeding Ewe
2nd in class 11 – Commercial Ewe Lamb
8th in class 15 – Market Lamb
Reserve Champion Speckled Market Lamb

Legacy Murphy
10th in class 8 – Meat Goat
11th in class 5 – Meat Goat
3rd in class 10 – Hereford Breeding Heifer
3rd in class 45 – Commercial Breeding Heifer
5th in class 3 – Shorthorn Market Steer
6th in class 1 – Commercial Doe Kid