While the generators rumbled through the cold outside air, inside the Black Hawk College East Campus pavilion scents of spray adhesive and spray paint mingled as individuals of all ages attended Stock Show University, Illinois Grad Program to learn the newest ways to fit their cattle for the show ring.
Stock Show U, a branch of Sullivan Supply, was developed in 2010. The first clinic was at the Iowa Beef Expo.
John Sullivan, president of Sullivan Supply of Dunlap, Iowa, was one of seven professors lecturing and giving hands-on instruction during the two-day cattle clinic. Other professors for the weekend clinic included:
- Scott Kinzer, new product development for Sullivan Supply.
- Jared Boyert, Black Hawk College alumnus and assistant judging coach at Black Hawk College East Campus. Boyert grew up showing Shorthorn cattle where his family was very competitive in the show ring.
- Nick Fitzsimmons of Vail, Iowa. Fitzsimmons is on the Livestock Judging Team at Black Hawk College East Campus while working part-time for Sullivan farms. He is one of the great young fitters today.
- Cori Harrison of Minier, Ill. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, Harrison breeds, raises and shows Limousin cattle and is an outstanding showman.
- Zach Gray of Danforth, Ill., owner of Gray Show Cattle and part owner in champion show stock. He has a strong emphasis on the club calf industry.
- Jason Minnaert, another Black Hawk College alumnus, is the owner of Minnaert Show Cattle, raising Maine, Simmental, and ShorthornPluses. Minnaert raised the 2011 champion Maine-Anjou female at the Maine-Anjou Junior Nationals.
- Garrett Lampe of Scott City, Kan., graduated from Kansas State University and is the show barn manager for Top Line Farm, an Angus breeder in Tremont, Ill. Lampe is well-known for his fitting abilities.
Assisting the Sullivan professors were Black Hawk College East Campus students Carrie Anglemeyer of Millersburg, Ind.; Jake Bloomberg of Berwick, Ill.; Will Coor of Selma, N.C.; TJ Doherty of Johnson Creek, Wis.; Mathew Hahn of Minonk, Ill.; Justin Lillesand of Sheboygan Falls, Wis.; Isaak Mersch of Twelve Mile, Ind.; Jake Sloan of Quincy, Mich.; and Morgan Swiecichowski of Pulaski, Wis.
After two days of instruction, awards were given in the following categories:
8-13 Age Division
- Furthest traveled – Sam and Emily Hinnenkamp of Eagle Bend, Minn.
- Most Improved – Garrett Handsuker of Pearl City, Ill.
- Most Determined – Carter Hoge of Good Hope, Ill.
- Best Fitter – Garrett Jackson of Alpha, Ill.
- Best Clipper – Connor Travis of Olney, Ill.
14-21 Age Division
- Furthest Traveled – Nicole and Joalyn Hinnenkamp of Eagle Bend, Minn.
- Most Improved – Betsy Kirbach of Jerseyville, Ill.
- Most Determined – Jacob Postin of Lewistown, Ill.
- Best Fitter – Brandon Jackson of Alpha, Ill.
- Best Clipper – Michaela Remiker of White Law, Wis.
Stock Show U clinics range from convenient hour-long clinics to comprehensive, in-depth two-day clinics (called the Grad Program). The best and most talented “professors” in the business focus on all areas needed to achieve the Championship look – animal selection, showmanship, feeding, daily hair and animal care, and show day grooming/clipping.
Stock Show U is a free educational clinic open to all stock show youth and adults, compliments of Sullivan Supply. The company hosts clinics at shows and homes across the country, including Beef Expos, major shows, Junior Nationals as well as local area shows, all free of charge. One hundred percent of apparel proceeds go toward educating livestock youth at the Stock Show University clinics.
The Distinguished Sullivan Supply/Stock Show U Scholarship is awarded annually to 20 youths. These $1,000 scholarships are awarded to individuals displaying a great passion for the livestock show industry and/or livestock production. An agriculture major or a career goal in livestock is not a requirement but a continued future involvement in the livestock industry is. The scholarship is funded solely thru Sullivan Supply and Sullivan Supply South.
Over the past three years, eight Black Hawk College East Campus students have received this prestigious scholarship:
- 2010 – Emily Griffiths of Kendallville, Ind.; Callyn Hahn of Watseka, Ill. and Tori Schwartz of Rossville, Ind.
- 2011 – Jamie Bloomberg of Berwick, Ill. and Jacob Boyert of Seville, Ohio
- 2012 – Jake Bloomberg of Berwick, Ill.; Jonathan Heaton of Toulon, Ill. and Ty Webster of Runnells, Iowa