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  • Karen Hiltbrand, American Angus Association

The Grandest Show in Grand Island

The 2021 National Junior Angus Show to be hosted July 10-17, 2021, in Grand Island, Neb.

Although there may not be a big red-and-white-striped tent, a ringmaster wearing a top hat or any, rest assured, there will be a grand show ring, ringmen wearing cowboy hats and the best of the best Angus cattle parading across the grounds in Grand Island, Neb. It’s the same thing, right?

Grab your cotton candy, popcorn and peanuts, and mark your calendars for the Grandest Show on Earth. The National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) is to be hosted July 10-17, 2021, in Grand Island, Neb. It will surely be a week you won’t be able to forget.

In “The Greatest Showman,” Jenny Lind, a Swedish opera singer toasts to P.T. Barnum, congratulating him on a successful circus in New York and says, “A man’s station is only limited to his imagination.”

The same can be said for how involved you choose to be in the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA). Have you always wanted to attend the NJAS? Maybe you’ve dreamed of competing in the National Angus Showmanship Contest or facing your fear and giving the public speaking contest a try?

No matter if you dream of winning the team sales contest or making Angus connections from across the country, the only thing standing in your way is your ability to make it a reality. This summer your only limitation is your imagination. Don’t limit yourself for fear of failing; work hard and make your dreams a reality.

The NJAA’s goal is to be a vehicle for junior success. From youth conferences to online educational opportunities and chances to build your network, the NJAS opportunities are endless for those who can step out of their comfort zone and try something new.

After a year where few things were normal, the NJAA and the American Angus Association are excited to be in Grand Island this July. The NJAS is known by the Angus family as one of the best weeks of the year. Not only does the week involve personal and professional development and stiff competition, but it is also a time to reconnect with friends and make new connections.

“There is no better place to learn new skills and expand your Angus network than at the NJAS,” says Caitlyn Brandt, American Angus Association events and industry partnership manager. “Serving our junior members is one of the very best parts of my job, and as staff, we truly look forward to NJAS all year round.”

The schedule of events is available online at, along with entry forms. Contest sign-up will be available online through AAA Login.

Under the big top

You’ve spent the time, put the work in at home and now, the time has come to head to Grand Island for the main event. On average, more than 1,200 head of registered Angus cattle are exhibited at the NJAS.

Owned heifers, bred-and-owned (B&O) heifers, cow-calf pairs, steers, B&O bulls and again this year the Phenotype and Genotype Show (PGS) are available for juniors. A top-five selection of B&O heifers and owned heifers will be chosen at the conclusion of each respective show.

2021 will be the second year for the PGS. The objective behind the PGS is to create another avenue for juniors to show their heifers while providing an educational opportunity to learn the value of expected progeny differences (EPDs) and economic selection indexes ($Values) as part of the process in selecting seedstock.

Animals entered in the PGS are evaluated by a judge under a system that requires both genotypes and phenotypes to be considered. The results are a composite score where the genotype (EPDs & $Values) placing and phenotype placings will be equally weighted at 50%.

The ownership and early entry deadline is May 15, 2021, while the late entry deadline is May 25, 2021, and can only be submitted online.

More NJAS entry information can be found under the shows tab on

An act for everyone

There is an act for everyone at the circus and the NJAS. From the trapeze artists to lion tamers and even to the person who gets shot out of a cannon — there isn’t one act that is everyone’s favorite.

Aside from the junior show, NJAS includes competitions for everyone to get involved. The educational components of the week allow junior members to gain knowledge and confidence to think on their feet, as well as an opportunity to develop professional skills in contests.

Depending on your interest, we have a contest for you. This year’s offered contests are: the NJAA/Angus Journal Photography Contest, NJAA Graphic Design Contest, NJAA Writing Contest, NJAA Beef Science Poster Contest, NJAA Public Speaking Contest, NJAA Career Development Contest, NJAA Extemporaneous Public Speaking Contest, NJAA Cattle Judging Contest, NJAA Skill-a-thon, NJAA Stockman’s Contest, NJAA Team Sales, NJAA Team Fitting, NJAA Quiz Bowl, virtual coloring contest, NJAA Best State Herdsman Contest, sweepstakes contest and Angus Mentoring Program (AMP).

A few of the contests are evaluated before NJAS to allow those who can’t attend a chance to compete. These contests include photography, graphic design and creative writing.

You can even test your skills in the kitchen at the annual American Angus Auxiliary-sponsored All-American Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB®) Cook-off Contest. During this contest, teams are challenged to prepare a beef dish and act out a skit that serves both as an educational and promotional opportunity for Angus consumers.

All individual contests must be signed up through the American Angus Association login contest portal, and all team contests must be signed up by your state advisor prior to NJAS. For additional contest information visit

In addition to the busy week’s schedule, the NJAA hosts its annual meeting. At this meeting two delegates from each state attend to review the organization’s bylaws and elect the “new six” who will serve on the National Junior Angus Board (NJAB) on the 2021-2023 team. The new officers and directors will be announced during the closing ceremonies at the end of the week.

Visit the NJAA website for more information on contest deadlines, or contact the Events and Education department at 816-383-5100. There are no exceptions to any of the ownership or entry deadlines.

We can’t wait to see you in Grand Island for the Grandest Show.


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