MURFREESBORO, TN—The Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association (TCA) and Tennessee Cattlemen’s Youth Association (TCYA) recognized over 30 youth members for their success in the fifth year of the Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health points program. The winners were recognized at the TCA Youth Awards Banquet sponsored by Kubota Tractor Corporation, held on January 21st at the Lane Agri-Park in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
One of the winners at this year's event was from Rutherford County. Foster Wingler took home honors in the Senior Level II Showmen class, named as the 5th Overall Senior Level II Showman. Just a 15-minute drive from Murfreesboro and into neighboring Bedford County, a total of 5-awards went to Bedford County residents in 4-different categories.
The Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health program was created by TCA to increase youth involvement at cattle shows across the state and to create more opportunities for agriculture youth to be recognized. The program has continued to grow and draw interest from youth cattle enthusiasts across the state.
“The fifth year of the Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health program was very rewarding for all involved,” said Melinda Perkins, TCA Director of Youth Programs & Outreach. “There were several new participants in the program this year, and we were able to recognize more youth for their hard work with their show cattle projects.”
Participants can receive points in three divisions: heifers, steers, and showmanship. To receive points, exhibitors must be youth members of the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association.
Weston Rowlett from Weakley County and Collin Cook from Robertson County received top honors for the 2022 Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health program year. Rowlett was awarded show heifer of the year and Cook was awarded show steer of the year.
“I couldn’t show cattle without the great support system that I have,” said Cook. “My dad takes me to shows and Jim Young shows me how to do things the right way. It feels good to see all our hard work pay off.”
The other Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health winners were as follows: Top five overall heifers (listed from first to fifth): Weston Rowlett, Weakley County; Maggie Potter, Bledsoe County; Gracie Giles, Anderson County; Maggie Lamon, Giles County; Allison Davis, Bedford County. Top five overall steers (listed from first to fifth): Collin Cook, Robertson County; Kate Lamon, Giles County; Gracie Giles, Anderson County; Dani Wares, Overton County; (tied for 5th) Remi Gardner, Henry County; (tied for 5th) Weston Rowlett, Weakley County
There are two additional divisions to showcase the heifer exhibitors. The Tennessee bred heifer division recognizes cattle that were raised by Tennessee cattle producers. Top five Tennessee bred heifers (listed first to fifth): Allison Davis, Bedford County; Jake Ozburn, Bedford County; Jackson Overbay, Hamblen County; Kelbie Rowlett, Wayne County; Gracie Giles, Anderson County. The top two heifers in each breed were as follows: Angus- Weston Rowlett, Allison Davis; Charolais- Jake Ozburn; Chi- Kelbie Rowlett; Hereford- Sydney Cherry (received 1st and 2nd); Limousin- Jake Ozburn; Red Angus- Gage Giffey, (tied for 2nd) Gavin Giffey, (tied for 2nd) Addysyn Spangler; Shorthorn- Jaclyn Thomas, Jackson Overbay; ShorthornPlus- Maggie Potter, Gracie Giles; Simmental- Evan Jackson (received 1st and 2nd); Percentage Simmental- Maggie Lamon, Gracie Giles; Commercial- Cole Lehnert, Caden Delaney
The following were the top five winners in each showmanship division, listed from first to fifth. Top five Senior Level II Showmen: Weston Rowlett, Weakley County; Eli Mundy, Claiborne County; Allison Davis, Bedford County; Sarah Beth Callicott, Hickman County; Foster Wingler, Rutherford County; Top five Senior Level I Showmen: Gracie Giles, Anderson County; Lila Sims, Humphreys County; Evan Jackson, Benton County; Remi Gardner, Henry County (tie for 4th); Maggie Lamon, Giles County (tie for 4th); Dani Wares, Overton County; Top five Junior High Showmen: Avery Rowlett, Wayne County; Clay Pitcock, McMinn County; Jake Ozburn, Bedford County; Lucas Berner, Obion County; Joseph Henry, McMinn County; Top five Junior Showmen: Parker Staley, Lincoln County; Jackson Overbay, Hamblen County; Emeri Whipple, Henry County; Jaclyn Thomas, Bledsoe County; Bristol Cherry, Chester County; Top five Explorer Showmen: Kelbie Rowlett, Wayne County; Maggie Potter, Bledsoe County; Tillman Staley, Lincoln County; Lona Sims, Humphreys County; Michael Barnett, Montgomery County.
In addition to the youth award winners, the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) Fraternity was awarded the 2022 Show of the Year for the Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health program. The UTM AGR Fraternity hosts the AGR Memorial Day Classic each year in May. Tennessee’s Top Tier exhibitors and families voted the UTM AGR Memorial Day Classic as the Show of the Year for the second year in a row.
The Tennessee’s Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health program end of the year awards would not be possible without the following sponsors: Title Sponsor: Merck Animal Health; Diamond Sponsors: United Farm & Home Coop, Gallagher; Gold Sponsors: Champion Show Supply, Carter Cove Graphics, McWherter Farms, Tennessee Farmers Cooperative, Trans Ova Genetics; Silver Sponsors: Green River Embryo Transfer, M&M Cattle; Bronze Sponsors: Perkins Family Cattle, West Tennessee Angus Association, Northwest Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association, Umbarger Show Feeds, Swallows Insurance Agency, Tennessee Shorthorn Association; Friend of TCYA Sponsors: Lascassas Feeds, DS Farms, Tennessee CattleWomen’s Association, RuthAnn Johns with Rx3 Livestock, Shady Bottom Ranch, Freebird Farms, Tennessee Hereford Association, Higgins Farms, Tennessee Angus Association, Jared Hart, Cedar Forest Farms.
The sixth year of Tennessee's Top Tier sponsored by Merck Animal Health program is now underway. Rules and a full list of shows on the points circuit can be found online at, tncattle.org/youth.
ABOUT - TCA was founded in 1985 and has more than 7,000 members from across the state and the southeast. The organization works to provide the cattlemen of Tennessee with an organization through which they may function collectively to protect their interests and work toward the solution of cattle industry problems and to build the necessary goodwill that will bring both governmental esteem and recognition to the industry.