GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — The stakes are always high in the show ring at the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) but the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB) “steaks” are equally as important. For the 2021 NJAS, Certified Angus Beef®, the Angus Auxiliary and National Junior Angus Association teamed up to host the annual CAB Cook-Off contest in Grand Island, Nebraska on July 13, 2021.
The contest was founded in 1983, in Des Moines, Iowa, to encourage Angus juniors to practice their beef education skills. Today, it is one of the biggest contests of the NJAS. Participants are encouraged to have a theme for their presentation that includes costumes and a delicious meal. For the beef portion of the contest, participants are tasked with creating a dish with CAB branded beef in one of three categories: steak, roast or other beef items. Teams of four are formed as a state and then placed into groups by age: 8-13, 14-17 and 18-21. The oldest member of the team determines the group division.
During the 2021 contest, over 33 teams competed for the Black Kettle Award also known as the overall team, among all age groups. In honor of Paul St. Blanc, an avid Angus breeder and cook-off enthusiast, the award went to the intermediate team from Texas.
Payton Alexander, Dalton Birdwell, Daniel “Brenlen” Humpert, Bayler Smith, Colter Pohlman and Kilye Winge wowed the judges with their Texas Spiced Tri-Tip Roast with chimichurri. The CAB Tri-Tip was cooked with an air fryer and topped with the homemade chimichurri sauce. In addition to the wonderful meal, the team from Texas dressed up as truckers hauling their cattle and made a remix of “East Bound and Down” where they highlighted the ten CAB specifications.
“The CAB Cook-off Contest was a pleasure and highlight to judge,” says Mark McCully, American Angus Association chief executive officer. “I wish I could take these juniors and let them speak to consumers who don’t understand the realities of how valuable beef is to a healthy diet.”
The cook-off contest allows for some friendly competition for all juniors, even those not showing cattle. Beyond the competition, the CAB Cook-off Contest is a family event that educates juniors on retail beef as they have fun with their presentations.
–Whitney Whitaker, Angus Communications
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