Meier wins coveted showmanship honors


August 4, 2023




For more information, contact:

Holly Martin, director of communications




Meier wins coveted showmanship honors

Tennessee junior tops prestigious showmanship contest at 2023 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 2023 National Junior Angus Showmanship Contest — Andrew Meier, Tennessee.

“I was kind of holding it in until I saw my mom,” he said about the moments right after the announcement. “I was just so happy to enjoy what she’s taught me and how far I’ve come. I wouldn’t have done it without her, and then when I saw my dad at the backdrop, it’s just like, ‘Wow. Thanks for everything. I couldn’t have done this without you either.’

Being only 18 when he won the contest in July in Grand Island, Nebraska, Meier said two keys to his success were making sure whichever heifer he was handling was comfortable in the ring and staying in control of his own nerves, so the pair could work as a team.

To compete in the showmanship 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, members can only compete in the contest once during their career as a junior. These high stakes add to the prestige of the contest and make it one of the most competitive in the industry.

In addition to feeling proud of how he honored his parents and late mentor Chris Johnson, Meier said he also felt proud of the way he represented his home state.

“Most people in our state really look up to me, especially the youth, when it comes to showing,” he said. “I build that up as motivation and to help little kids one day win a national contest like I did.”

Contestants were evaluated by judges Dustin and Jeana Hurlbut, South Dakota, and Courtenay DeHoff, Texas. Kathi Creamer, Colorado, served as surrogate judge for the contest.

These respected industry professionals navigated a tough task: assessing the group of highly qualified participants during the multi-round showdown. Judges evaluate junior members’ skills in animal handling, showring courtesy and sportsmanship, use of equipment and ability to follow instructions.

Following the initial four heats, 15 showmen are asked to return and participate in a final round where the top five winners are selected.

Joining Meier in the top five were: second place, Kathryn Coleman, California; third place, Amelia Miller, Illinois; fourth place, Kelsey Theis, Kansas; fifth place, Jonwyn Ayres, Oregon.

The remaining showmen selected in the top 15, in alphabetical order, were:

Carlee Clark, Okla.

Claire Norris, Kan.

Ella Jordan, Mo.

Hunter Royer, Ind.

Kyli Kraft, Colo.

McKenzie Kostel, Texas

Morgan Hutchins, Ill.

Sawyer Styles, S.D.

Tanner Curtin, Iowa

Trey Conley, Mo.


The following juniors were recognized as honorable mentions:

Ellie Kidwell, Ohio

Kyra Meyer, Neb.

Sara Sullivan, Iowa

Sydney Rylaarsdam-Schoo, Idaho


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. Also, juniors placing in the top five are presented a scholarship named the Hamilton “Ham” James Award, which began at the 1983 NJAS in honor of its namesake.

For junior members looking to compete in this revered showmanship contest one day or those simply looking to improve their skills, Meier’s advice is to be willing to listen to other people’s advice; learn from other people’s mistakes; and unsurprisingly to practice, practice, practice.

View results of the 2023 NJAS, including shows, contests, awards and scholarships at Additional coverage is also available on the NJAA social media channels and in the September issue of the Angus Journal.


— Written by Sarah Kocher, Angus Communications   


About the National Junior Angus Association

The NJAA promotes the involvement of young people in raising Angus cattle while also providing leadership and self-development opportunities for more than 4,500 active members nationwide.


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