BRAWLEY — One World Beef Packers held its Inaugural Beef Carcass Awards Night — A Night Full of Stars — Tuesday, March 30, at the Stockmen’s Club, where they honored four local youth participants for their efforts to bring a carcass to market through 4-H or Future Farmers of America (FFA) despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and the lack of a typical Mid-Winter Fair market.
Carcass of Merit recipients include Gianna Irungaray, Jaylynn Solomon, and Elijah Solomon. The award for Gold Seal carcass was presented to Kaitlynn Jackson. The Grand Champion Carcass Award included two custom belt buckle awards: the 2021 Mid-Winter Fair Reserve Champion OWB Packer Carcass was presented to Gianna Irungaray; and the 2021 Mid-Winter Fair Grand Champion OWB Packer Carcass was presented to Kaitlynn Jackson.
In addition to the awards, runner up scholarships were awarded in the amount of $500 to Jaylynn Solomon, Elijah Solomon, and Kaitlyn Jackson. The first annual Bill Brandenburg Overall Champion Market Beef Exhibitor Scholarship in the amount of $2,500 was awarded to Gianna Irungaray.
Vice President of Food Safety and Quality Kim Herinckx said OWB Packers will be hosting a Carcass Contest for all participants again next year. She also said the Bill Brandenburg Scholarship for $2,500 will be offered again next year.
Herinckx made two additional announcements that earned several cheers from guests — floor pricing for all 2022 market steers will not be lower than $3 per pound; and OWB Packers has reached an agreement with the Mid-Winter Fair Management to be the 2022 Title Sponsors of the fair to ensure the fair is in a solid financial position to make 2022 a comeback year to remember.
“There will not be a steer next year that goes for under $3 a pound … It’s a commitment to raise a steer … We’re pretty, pretty excited about that … Our agriculture community is here to take care of all the beef kids in the area,” said Herinckx.
CEO and Owner of OWB Packers Eric Brandt explained the hard work behind raising an animal and the importance of groups like 4-H and FFA, especially in an agricultural community.
He recalled his youth of raising goats and eventually hogs, but also wishing for a steer. After begging for a steer, his father told him he could have a steer if he won Junior Round Robin. After he won, he went to his father to remind of the deal they’d made, leading to Brandt getting his first steer.
“What was really important about that was learning the whole facts and reality of raising an animal,” he said.
Herinckx recalled her youth and told a story of her family’s tradition of getting their own steer at the age of three and raising the steer on their own.
Herinckx recently revisited the small community where she grew up and was disheartened to see that her family’s ranch that had been sold years ago, was now a high-rise building. Additionally, she visited the county fairgrounds from her youth, of which her grandfather was one of the land donators. Her grandfather had a hand in building the barns and stables on the fairgrounds. However, the current fair manager tried selling the land.
“She was unsuccessful at selling it, but she was successful at condemning all the barns that our generations before us built from scratch,” she said.
She explained the impact of having a supportive community and the importance of legacy.
“It goes to show, sometimes is not the thing, it’s the memories that matter,” said Herinckx.
“We’re here, we’re not going anywhere, and we’re here for our kids,” said Herinckx.