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  • Sarah Kocher, Angus Communications

Minix Stockman Contest winners exhibit well-rounded skills

Stockman award recognizes three juniors’ outstanding performances across three contests.

From left, Lane Toledo of California, Audrey Curtin of Illinois, and Ellie Kidwell of Ohio, and were named winners of the Stockman Contest for their respective age divisions at the 2023 National Junior Angus Show.

Judge, meat scientist, nutritionist – cattlemen wear many hats, and the winners of the Minix Stockman Contest at the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) reflect some of the diverse skills needed to succeed. The award factors juniors’ performances in the judging contest, quiz bowl, written exam and skill-a-thon. The top contestant from each of the three age divisions with the highest combined scores were recognized at the 2023 NJAS, held July 1-8.

“The Stockman Contest is a unique avenue for junior members to not only test their knowledge, but also see how well-rounded they are,” said Caitlyn Brandt, director of events and junior activities. “They really have to understand all aspects of the industry, and that’s why this award is such an honor.”

Taking home the honor of senior stockman was Ellie Kidwell of Ohio. She placed fifth in livestock judging, placed sixth in the skill-a-thon contest, and scored 40 points on the quiz bowl exam for the senior division. She said her advisor, Lindsey Hall, encouraged her to start competing in the contests.

“Of the three, quiz bowl is definitely my favorite,” said Kidwell, who has been attending the NJAS since 2017.

She also had advice for younger junior members, thinking about entering contests.

“I wasn’t very good when I started, but the more you do them, the better you’ll be,” Kidwell said. “You’re always going to learn something.”

The intermediate stockman was Audrey Curtin of Illinois. She placed first in Intermediate B livestock judging, placed sixth in the skill-a-thon contest, and scored 34 points on the quiz bowl exam for the intermediate division. (For livestock judging contests, Intermediate and Junior divisions are split into A and B groups based on age.)

This year’s top junior stockman was Lane Toledo of California. He placed first in Junior B livestock judging, placed first in the skill-a-thon contest, and scored 43 points on the quiz bowl exam for the junior division.

Toledo has grown up in the Angus junior program with 2023 being his fifth time at the NJAS.

“I started showing when I was 6,” he said. “I just loved it from day one, like it was the right thing for me. It’s better than any other sport I’ve ever played or any other activity. It’s just kind of relaxing and fun to compete with everyone.”

Beginning in 2022, the contest has been named the Minix Stockman Contest in honor of the late Ed and Wilma Minix of Black Witch Farm, Athens, Ga. The Minix couple was passionate about supporting youth involved with livestock and helping them become leaders in the agricultural industry.

Each winner received a belt buckle, as well as cash awards: $750 for the senior division winner, $500 for the intermediate division winner, and $250 for the junior division winner.

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


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