The Allscheid and Stumpf families travel through every part of the state to enter their children in the annual Illinois Junior Hereford Association Preview Show.
Last year, they went to the town of Sandwich, south of DeKalb. Eric Allscheid of Waterloo recalls traveling to Quincy another year.
But this year, Cindie and Eric Allscheid petitioned along with Lori and Gene Stumpf to host the event locally. The show will take place June 17-19 at the fairgrounds.
“We have kids that show every year, and we just thought it would be neat to be able to do it here this time,” Eric Allscheid said.
Opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. June 17 with a fitting contest at 9:30 a.m. and showmanship contest at 10:30 a.m., followed by a 7 p.m. banquet. This banquet will include a beef brisket dinner and the ceremonial crowning of the Illinois Hereford queen and princess. There will be an Owned Heifer Show at 8 a.m. Sunday to conclude the event.
A fitting contest consists of getting a cow from scratch and gluing them up, making them look presentable. The contest is timed and one person from the pee wee, junior and senior divisions move on to compete in the fitting competition at the Junior National Hereford Expo.
Hereford cattle are the only breed of cow featured in the preview show. These cattle are characterized as a beef cattle breed widely used for meat production.
“If it’s like any other year, there will be at least 200 Hereford cows,” Eric said.
In order to host the show, someone from the Hereford Association needed to come and do a site survey of the fairgrounds. Eric described the process of approving Monroe County for the event as long and arduous.
“They didn’t know we exist down here,” Eric said. “If you ask anybody who’s been out to the fairgrounds, it’s in tip-top shape.”
Along with county fairgrounds that rise above many others in Illinois, the hosts decided to take the event one step further, including live music and breakfast and lunch.
The Waterloo and Columbia FFA chapters will supply these meals June 18-19. Kevin Hoffman and Darren Reifschneider of the band 3 Rock Box will provide the live music from 6-10 p.m. on June 17.
On-time entries for the show needed to be postmarked June 1, but late entries will be accepted with a $50 entry cost. Entries must meet state health regulations.
Shingle Oaks Polled Herefords in Waterloo and DelHawk Cattle Co. in Earlville are donating items to exhibitors. There will be a silent auction to help raise money for the preview show at Junior Nationals where people can donate items.
The show is open for public viewing. For more information, contact the Allscheids at email@example.com or the Stumpfs at 281-6378. Visit the IJHA 2016 Preview Show website at ILPHA.com/ijha-preview-show-2016/.
Cindie recognized early on that the event would have quite an impact on the community, especially with people coming from everywhere in the state.
For instance, the accommodations are limited in Monroe County.
“We have booked up all of the rooms in Waterloo and Columbia, plus people are going to South County,” she said. “We are expecting about 300 people coming into town that weekend.