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April 3, 2019

Aksarben Purple Ribbon Auction moves to Saturday night, Sept 28

Grand Island, NE – The Aksarben Stock Show is pleased to announce the Aksarben Purple Ribbon Auction (PRA) is moving to Saturday, September 28 on the show schedule. Last year the auction awarded $171,000 to youth exhibitors in scholarships and awards.

The auction is the pinnacle event of the stock show and open to the public to celebrate the achievements of the youth livestock exhibitors with their champion livestock. The reception is a ticketed donation of $100 and includes heavy appetizers and beverages at 5 p.m. The auction follows in the Farm Bureau Show Ring where generous individuals, buying groups and corporate sponsors contribute via live bidding to fund scholarships and awards.The sale is free to attend with open sitting in the Five Points Bank Arena.

“Due to the fine facilities in Grand Island, we can arrange the show schedule to make this accommodation to benefit our exhibitors and donors. The Saturday event now permits out of state families making the auction to depart earlier on Sunday. This also allows our buying groups to spend a weekend in Grand Island,” stated Greg Harder, stock show director.

Nebraska State Fair, the show producer, noted this schedule change allows for additional youth exhibitors and their families to watch the auction.Plans are being discussed for entertainment to follow in the Barn Bar on Saturday evening.The 92nd Aksarben Stock Show is Sept 26-29, 2019 in Grand Island, NE.For more information visit

2015 Champion British Breed Market Steer shown by Tejlor Strope of O'Neill, Nebraska. 
December 14, 2018

British breed market beef return to Aksarben Stock Show, 2019

Grand Island, NE – British breed market beef are returning to the lineup of classes for the Aksarben Stock Show in 2019.The most recognizable breeds are Angus (Black and Red), Herford (Horned and Polled), and Shorthorn. The Aksarben Stock Show is Sept 26-29, 2018.

The Grand Island based event managed and produced by the Nebraska State Fair utilizes the Fonner Park livestock barns. The state-of-the-art facilities provide for ideal cattle stalling, tie-out space and easy load-in / load-out logistics allowing this division to come back to the 92-year-old event.

Aksarben Stock Show Director Greg Harder explained by stating, “families have asked for this division in the market beef show to return to the Aksarben schedule.It’s a great addition having this expanded opportunity for youth to show against similar cattle.The tremendous growth in the summer junior national shows, will give many of those exhibitors the opportunity to compete one more time.”

Previously British breed was shown in 2014 and 2015 at the Aksarben Stock Show. The past Aksarben British Breed Champions include:

  • 2015 British Breed Market Steer Champion Tejlor Strope, O'Neill, Nebraska
  • 2015 British Breed Market Steer Reserve Champion Luke Crock, Mechanicsville, Iowa
  • 2014 British Breed Market Steer Champion Tejlor Strope, O'Neill, Nebraska
  • 2014 British Breed Market Steer Reserve Champion Railen Ripp, Kearney, Nebraska

For more information visit

2019 transitions to Jr. Livestock Show

2019 transitions to Jr. Livestock Show

Legacy Livestock Photography captured exhibitor showing livestock during the 91st Aksarben Stock Show in Grand Island, Neb. Sept 2018 

November 6, 2018


Four States Added to Eligibility

Grand Island, NE –The Aksarben Stock Show will transition to junior livestock show format in 2019. Under the junior show model, youth from nine to 19 years of age are eligible for the competition with no prerequisite of youth organization affiliation.

Greg Harder, stock show director, said the change will give the 92-year-old Aksarben Stock Show growth opportunities. “Today’s agricultural youth are involved in 4-H, FFA, breed associations or open class competitions, making them diverse in their affiliations,” he stated. “We want to make sure more junior exhibitors can show at Aksarben in 2019.”

Harder said part of the expansion strategy meant opening doors to additional states. “We added four more,” he said. “Arkansas, Montana, Indiana and Wisconsin will join the existing 10 state family of eligibility.” Rules for the 2019 event will be written by Aksarben Stock Show management, versus the previous system of rules within each state operating independently. “It’s very difficult to run a fair and unified show when everyone plays by different rules,” Harder said. “We’ve brought those rules in-house to a sole playbook that everyone abides by.”

Bernadette (Bernie) O'Rourke, extension youth livestock specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the animal science departments said, “Wisconsin appreciates the opportunity for our youth to take part in the long tradition of Aksarben. We anticipate our youth will benefit from connecting with others and continuing to expand on their knowledge of animals through knowledge and professional contests. “

Officials from Nebraska State Fair, show producer, noted that the show expansion will be a benefit to Grand Island businesses, bringing more people to town. Livestock facilities built in 2010 for Nebraska State Fair will continue to house the show.

The Aksarben Stock Show will be held Sept 26-29, 2019 in Grand Island, NE.For more information visit

American Foods Goup Livestock Juding

American Foods Goup Livestock Juding

The contest welcomed 419 students from 23 states competing in 4-H, Junior college and Senior college team and individual categories. 
American Foods Group Livestock Judging Contest crowns Kansas State, Hutchinson Jr. College and Oklahoma 4-H

Lacey Knodle, Iowa State University receives high individual buckle

Grand Island, NE (October 30, 2018) – The Aksarben Livestock Judging Contest presented by American Foods Group was held on Sept 30, 2018. There were 419 students from 23 states competing: 4-H, Junior College freshman, Junior College sophomore and Senior College in both team and individual categories.

The judging contestants placed 12 classes of livestock (five beef cattle, four sheep and goat, three hogs) and defended their placings with oral reasons. “Contests like this enable these young professionals to enhance their livestock evaluation, communication and decision-making skills,” stated Greg Harder, stock show director. More
2018 Grand Champion Market Beef $18,000

2018 Grand Champion Market Beef $18,000

Shown by Zachary Bradford from LaVerne, Iowa and purchased by Nova-Tech, MultiMin USA, HLG Packaging, Pathway Bank and Gideon Farms and Show Pigs 

2018, Purple Ribbon Auction increases scholarships and awards by $44,500

Nova-Tech buying group purchases Grand Champion Market Beef for $18,000

Champion Purebred Market Hog brings $6,500 for York, NE teenager

Grand Island, NE (October 22, 2018) – The Aksarben Stock Show managed and produced by Nebraska State Fair will award $171,000 to the livestock showing youth as a result of the Purple Ribbon Auction. The 91st annual event was held September 27 – 30, 2018 at Fonner Park.Youth from eight of the 10 states showing qualified for the auction.

“This year we will distribute $44,500 over the guarantee from the auction,” explained Greg Harder, stock show director. “Our buying groups and sponsors are helping us reach our goal to grow and build on the history of Aksarben.We will continue to make this a fun and family orientated atmosphere where kids and families simply can’t wait for the next year.”

The Purple Ribbon Auction is the pinnacle event and open to the public. A reception is held prior to the auction for buyers to mingle with the youth exhibitors. Harder thanked the attendees and said, “I am humbled and honored to be in this position, now full circle since I last exhibited in 1981. I might be shedding a tear for my father, I wish he could be here to enjoy this auction too.”

The grand champion market beef shown by Zachary Bradford from LaVerne, IA was purchased for $18,000 by the buying group: Nova-Tech, MultiMin USA, HLG Packaging, Pathway Bank and Gideon Farms and Show Pigs. Click Here

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