The Michigan Cattlemen’s Association and other affiliated breed associations are hosting their 29th annual in East Lansing this weekend.
The three-day event is designed to showcase a variety of breeds, and to help breeders market their cattle in one major statewide event, said George Quackenbush, the executive vice president of the Michigan Cattlemen’s Association.
The event originally started as a project under the Michigan Cattlemen’s Association back in the ‘80s.
“The idea behind the Michigan Beef Expo was that each of the breeds could come together and work cooperatively to hold one major statewide beef industry promotional event,” said Quackenbush.
Before that, each of the breeds were holding their own separate sales and shows at different time throughout the year.
By bringing all the breeds together under one roof, the breeders can share the cost of holding the event and provide an opportunity to highlight each of the breeds that come, said Quackenbush.
Producers across the state will exhibit a wide range of cattle at the Expo including Angus, Chianina, Hereford, Maine-Anjou, Shorthorn, Simmental and many other registered breeds.
The expo will feature a competitive breed show on the first day, followed by Michigan’s biggest cattle industry trade showthe day after.
The Michigan Beef Expo is not limited to professional cattle producers. The event also welcomes younger generations who are interested in the cattle business.
Along with the professional shows, the expo includes several youth contests that encourage young people aged 8 to 21 to participate in. These contests include both an essay and photography section.
Photography is an important skill for cattle breeders to have, said Quackenbush. When cattle producers need to market their cattle, they need to have decent photos of them, especially if their cattle are purebreds.
MSU’s Block and Bridle club will also host a junior steer and heifer show.
Quackenbush said the youth contests can help educate the next generation and help them prepare for the cattle industry at an early age.
For attendees who are simply interested in the cattle, they are welcome to come and look at the cattle and talk to the breeders. There will also be vendors at the expo selling rural lifestyle apparel and accessories.
“We encourage anyone that has an interest in the cattle industry to come out and join us. Anyone is more than welcome to come and learn,” said Quackenbush.
Michigan Beef Expo is kid-friendly, free and open to the public.
Michigan Beef Expo
MSU Pavillion 4301 Farm Lane, East Lansing April 6-8, 8am-10pm Free.