Beef and Pen show celebrates 22 years in Medicine Hat

By Taylor Chartrand
December 16, 2018 - 2:27pm

Medicine Hat, AB - The year is 1996.

Betty Rubble debuts as a Flinstone vitamin and the 1st clam-shell flip mobile phone, the Motorola StarTAX, goes on sale.

Conveniently enough, 1996 was also the year when the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede (MHE&S) began their Beef and Pen Show.

MHE&S President Brian Schneider was there for the first event and he was also at the show this weekend. 

"In '96, Brian Palichuck was chairing the livestock committee and we had the summer show that was dying. That's when he came up with the idea to host it in December," explain Schneider. "We started really small in the back of the pavilion before the field house was built and I think we had 20 pens of commercial cattle and a handful of purebred."

A year later, the field-house was built and the Beef and Pen show had a new place to call home.

"We had Christmas lights and it was a really nice atmosphere. From there, it just kept growing and growing and our base has been the commercial breeder."

Now, the show has become one of the biggest events for the MHE&S.

"We've got about 345 head of cattle under the barns and it's a very unique situation where we've got commercial people and the purebred here all under one roof. It's just so good to showcase our industry."

And for all you city slickers out there, Schneider explains the commercial and purebred classes.

"The commercial side is just the ranchers. They bring in their cattle right off the ranch. They're not registered or anything else. Whereas the purebred are people that all the ranchers buy their bulls from and they're registered cattle." 

Schneider says having everyone under the same roof is a great way to showcase the agriculture industry.

"It just shows the way of life and all the hard work that it takes. You know, people go out there and spend a good amount of money on bulls and they're proud of their cattle. This way, people get to see what they're doing on the ranches."

Schneider then explained this event has a significant economic impact on the community.

"We've got people from all across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba coming into town for this show. Those people need to access hotels and they also eat at restaurants as well."

Schneider then explained that this is a great way for people to mingle and learn something new.

"It's just the social aspect and a lot of people don't get that opportunity. There's less and less people in the agriculture industry and so this is a way for the urban people to get involved. A mandate for our stampede is for the urban and rural to intermix."

Unfortunately, Schneider says the number of people involved in the agriculture industry is dwindling.

"It's not an easy way of life and it's just the economics now. Either the son or daughter isn't wanting to take over and the farm and it ends up being bought out. It's just the dynamics of our business right now."

Schneider attributes the low agriculture numbers to people wanting to live an easier life.

"It's a lot of work being on the ranch, you know? People find it appealing when you can get a job in town and have the weekends off. That's the economics behind it all." 

And that is why Schneider is focused on the youth of today.

"They're our future and it's exciting to see that they're interested. They're going to be the ones that're running these places soon and they get the knowledge from this event on what kind of breeds you like to have and how to raise good cattle. Our industry needs good cattle. We supply all the cattle for the city people to eat so it's very important." 

For those who didn't have the opportunity to check out this years event, Schneider says they will be back for their 23rd year in December of 2019.

"I would like to thank all the people that came. The visitors, consignors and the pen-show committee. It's a lot of work and it takes a lot of dedication. We have great community support and I thank everyone for their interest in growing this event." 

The 2018 Beef Pen Show-Results are as follows:

Purebred Breeders Commercial Open Heifer Show:
-Grand Champion, Watson Cattle Co
-Reserve Champion, CD Land and Cattle Co

Purebred Heifer:
-Grand Champion, Lone Star Angus
-Reserve Champion, Bar Double M

Commercial Open Heifer:
-ESC Grand Champion, Stafford Ranching
-ESC Reserve Champion, Niwa Ranching

Commercial Open Heifer:
-SC Grand Champion, Hecker Farms Ltd
-SC Reserve Champion, Stan Stuber
4-H Open Heifer Show:
-Grand Champion, Sayge Turcato
-Reserve Champion, Parker McLaughlin
4-H Bred Heifer Show:
-Grand Champion, Dawson Cleveland
-Reserve Champion, Hillary Sauder

4-H Team Grooming:
-Junior 1st, Irvine 4-H Beef
-Junior 2nd, Maple Creek Multiple 4-H
-Intermediate 1st, Abbey-Lancer 4-H Beef Club / Irvine 4-H Beef Club
-Intermediate 2nd, Borderline 4-H Multi Club / Irvine 4-H Beef
-Senior 1st, Erfnold 4-H Beef Club
-Senior 2nd, Wymark 4-H Club

Open Steer Jackpot:
-Grand Champion, Amanda Scott
-Reserve Champion, Jacey Massey

4-H Steer Jackpot:
-Grand Champion, Billy Goudy
-Reserve Champion, Kylie Berner

Commercial Bred Heifer Show:
-Grand Champion, Niwa Ranching Co Ltd
-Reserve Champion, WB Cattle Co

Purebred Bull Show:
-Grand Champion, Boundary Ranch
-Reserve Champion, Lazy MC Angus

Calendar Year Bull:
-CD Land & Cattle Co

Yearling Bull:
CD Land & Cattle Co

Council has a full Christmas stocking for final 2018 meeting