July 14, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Holly Martin, director of communications
Paige Lemenager wins coveted showmanship honors
Illinois junior tops prestigious contest at the 2022 National Junior Angus Show.
Crisp, white collared shirts paired with starched black jeans and boots filled the arena, but only one showman prevailed. An entire show career of preparation and tenacity came down to one moment. The emcee waited in suspense, then announced the winner of the 2022 National Junior Angus Showmanship Contest — Paige Lemenager, Illinois.
“It is indescribable what the contest means to me because from a young age, I’ve watched the most talented showman and [industry] leaders in our country compete for the very same title,” Lemenager said. “So now, at 18 years old, I’m proud to have stood alongside the fierce and driven competitors of our breed because ultimately, we push one another to be the best version of ourselves.”
Contestants were evaluated by judges Melissa Davis, Dylan Evans and Pearl Walthall, all respected industry professionals, in a multi-round showdown. Surrogate judge John McCurry assisted in the contest, carefully directing contestants.
To compete in the contest at the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS), participants must first qualify within their state. Only two members per state can compete at the national level each year. Additionally, junior members can only compete in the contest once in their entire show career. These high stakes add to the prestige of the contest and make it one of the most competitive in the industry.
“Each time I exit the ring my parents have coached me on what I can do better to truly bring out the best in my cattle and their advice has made me the showman I am today,” Lemenager said. “We also watch footage from shows similar to ‘game film’ to truly analyze what I can improve on. There are countless ways to perfect your craft as a showman and I’ve quickly learned to never settle.”
Following the initial four heats, 15 showmen are asked to participate in the final round where the top five winners are selected. Annually, the champion showman at NJAS is presented the Dean Hurlbut Award, named after the man who organized the first National Junior Angus Showmanship Contest in 1967.
“I felt pure joy hearing my name announced not only for being named champion but also because I had my family, friends and mentors by my side to enjoy the bittersweet moment,” Lemenager said.
The judges evaluate the exhibitors based on their skills in animal handling, showring courtesy and sportsmanship, use of equipment and ability to follow instructions. Joining Lemenager in the top five were: second place, Walker McDermott, Iowa; third place, Lauren Frederick, Kansas; fourth place, Taylor Kelner, Arkansas; fifth place, Olivia Gerloff, Missouri.
The National Junior Angus Showmanship Contest brings together the breed’s top young showmen for a one-time shot at one of the organization’s most coveted titles. The remaining showmen selected as top 15 were: Dalton Chambers, Washington; J. Gordon Clark, Virginia; Victoria Gerken, Oklahoma; Tyler Getzlaff, Florida; Lily Gisclair, Louisiana; Dawson Johnson, Minnesota; Sydney Johnson, Oklahoma; Karson Patton, Indiana; Mycah Weaver, Iowa; Jordyn Wickard, Indiana.
– Written by Briley Richard, Angus Communications
ANGUS MEANS BUSINESS. The American Angus Association® is the nation’s largest beef breed organization, serving more than 25,000 members across the United States, Canada and several other countries. It’s home to an extensive breed registry that grows by more than 300,000 animals each year. The Association also provides programs and services to farmers, ranchers and others who rely on Angus to produce quality genetics for the beef industry and quality beef for consumers.
For more information about Angus cattle and the American Angus Association, visit www.angus.org.