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Challenge Steers Get New Home

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The threat of snow and rain didn’t stop 10 enthusiastic applicants from gathering at the Wagonhammer Cattle Company, in Albion, Nebraska, to draw for their Calf Challenge steer on Saturday, March 13, 2021. The one to travel the farthest came from Chester, Arkansas. The Wolf family owns Wagonhammer Cattle Company. Jay Wolf, a 3rd generation cattleman, started the day off giving a tour of the feedlot and feedmill. Joe Epperly, Director of Genetics and Sales, provided an educational program on feeding, care, and health of the calves. The day concluded with 10 individuals drawing a number that matched up with their calf. Each exhibitor will feed, care for, train and keep records on their animal up until the time when they exhibit it at the Aksarben Stock Show, which will be held September 23-26, 2021, at the State Fair Grounds in Grand Island, Nebraska

Calf Challenge Rules

The Aksarben Calf Challenge Program, held annually in conjunction with Aksarben Stock Show, provides youth an opportunity to showcase their knowledge of the beef industry and their ability to raise a market steer. The steers are provided by Aksarben Stock Show. Youth are selected through an application process.

Calf Challenge recipients must have exhibited at the previous year’s Aksarben Stock Show and have at least one year of exhibiting eligibility remaining. In order to successfully complete the project, participants have several requirements including: correspondence with their assigned sponsor, record keeping, animal management, interview skills and participation in the current Aksarben Stock Show.

The purpose of the Calf Challenge Program is to provide an educational, interesting and competitive feature for youth at the Aksarben Stock Show.
  • The exhibitor must be at least 9 years of age but no older than 19 years of age as of January 1 of the current year.
  • Previous Calf Challenge participants are ineligible to re-apply for the Calf Challenge Program.
  • To apply for the Calf Challenge Program, eligible youth will make entry on a special Calf Challenge Application Form provided online at All applications will be electronically submitted through
  • Each contestant that is selected will receive a calf at a later date, but will pay back to the Aksarben Calf Challenge Program approximately 33% of the sale price of the Production Phase calf to perpetuate the program.
  • In case of a tie, the following tie breakers will be used: 1) record book; 2) showmanship; 3) sponsor report; 4) interview;
  • All Calf Challenge Calves must enter and exhibit unless previously excused by Aksarben.
  • All Calf Challenge Calves will be weighed prior to the show.
  • All Market Beef grooming rules will be enforced.
  • Live animal premiums will be paid according to stated Market Beef Show premiums.
  • Calf Challenge calves are not eligible to compete in Market Beef Showmanship.
  • All Calf Challenge calves must go to harvest.

To learn more about the Calf Challenge Program, please contact Gary Kubicek at 308-385-3932,

Kodi Gehl

2021 Record Book

2021 Calf Challenge Sponsors

Gary Bader - Bader & Sons Feedyard
Todd Duncan - Duncan Aviation
Karol Swan - Swan Farm
Jordan Swan - Farmers National Company
Courtney Lawrenson - Ag Processing Inc
Mark & Kathi Hesser - Pinnacle Bank
Tyler Owen - Owen Foundation
Bob Barker & Terina Trotter, Scott Jarzynka, Scott Trotter - Trotter Grain & Fertilizer
Greg Crawford - Crawford Cattle Co
Mike Rath - Darling International
Parr Family

2019 Calf Challenge

Champion Calf Challenge
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Champion Calf Challenge - Ross Klitz
Reserve Champion Calf Challenge - Cassidee Stratman
3rd Place Overall Calf Challenge - Cash Voegele
2018 Champion Calf Challenge

2018 Champion Calf Challenge

Shown by Kali Stratman from West Point, NE, the Champion Calf Challenge scholarship/award of $11,500 was provided by First National Bank of Omaha and Greg Baxter  
The 2018 Champion Calf Challenge recipient is Kali Stratman from West Point, Nebraska. Stratman is recent high school graduate who is currently in cosmetology school. She plans to continue her education at a community college studying business.

Showing highlights: 2018 Nebraska Cattlemens Classic Champion Angus; Reserve Breeding Heifer; 2016 Nebraska State Fair, Breeding Heifer. In addition to winning the fitting contest at the 2016 Main Junior Nationals.

Why do you show? "To hang with friends and be involved in the agriculture industry."

Advice for others who are interested in showing? "Don't take it for granted, enjoy every minute of every show like it may be your last show."

2018 Reserve Champion Calf Challenge

2018 Reserve Champion Calf Challenge

Shown by Katelyn Penrson from Dixon, NE, the Reserve Champion Calf Challenge scholarship/award of $10,000 was provided by Gary Bader & Sons Feedlot and Tom Dinsdale Auto 
Katelyn Pehrson from Laurel, Nebraska is the 15-year-old sophomore in high school. She plans to attend college and major in animal science with a minor in agribusiness.

Why do you show? "A great opportunity to meet new people with common interests and make new friends."

Advice for others who are interested in showing? "It may be long hours, hardwork that takes patience and determination, but in the long run its worth it. There are somethings that money can't buy - showing is priceless!"
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