This year the NS&GPA was proud to be a sponsor of the 2021 Aksarben Lamb Challenge.  Youth, ages 9-19 years old have the opportunity to get a more in-depth experience to learn about nutrition, health care, management, and showcasing their knowledge of sheep production. The purpose of the Program is to provide an educational, interesting, and competitive event for youth at the Askarben Stock Show.

Interested youth fill out an application to be eligible for the contest.  A committee reviews all applications, with a maximum of 15 being selected to participate in the program. Once selected the individuals need to attend the “draw” for the lamb that will be their responsibility until it is exhibited at the Aksarben Stock Show. To successfully complete the project, participants have several requirements including record keeping, interview, showmanship, correspondence with an assigned sponsor/partner, average daily gain, and live placing.  Rasine Bolek from Alliance was the recieptant of the Association’s sponsorship. I asked Rasine to tell us about her Aksarben experience.

Hello, my name is Rasine Bolek I am 17 years old and I live just south of Alliance. I just completed my 11th year in 4-H showing cattle, sheep, and goats, with that, I just completed my second year in the Lamb Challenge Program.

Within this program, we complete an application along with an essay and from there 19 youth were chosen, we then are assigned each a sponsor who paid for the lamb that we were awarded and write letters every month from May to September updating our sponsors on our lambs progress throughout the months. It also includes a record book, average daily gain, showmanship, and an in-person interview.     This being the 2nd year in the program I learned more about the record book process and was able to polish up on areas of the program that I learned the first year.

If I was to tell any young youth about this program I would tell them it is an amazing experience especially if you have never shown lambs before it is a great experience to learn different leadership skills. I was able to win the showmanship competition within the program this year. I have applied again for my 3rd year, this upcoming year will be my 12th year and my last. I will be attending the University of Nebraska Lincoln and majoring in Agricultural Education with a minor in Animal Science.  

I want to thank Nebraska Sheep & Goat Producers for their sponsorship.