Every year more than one hundred students plan and organize Cal Poly’s annual Western Bonanza Junior Livestock Show. This year the show is set for February 12-14, at the Paso Robles Event Center. During October, the 2016 Western Bonanza managers, along with their advisor, had the unique opportunity to attend the American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City. The American Royal started in 1899 and is now one of the largest shows in the nation. After spending three days at the show the managers gained many new ideas to bring back and incorporate into this year’s Western Bonanza. Check out what each manager personally took away from the experience below:
Suzanne Amaral, General Manager
I felt extremely lucky to have the opportunity to travel to Kansas City to watch The American Royal. While I was very involved in showing at jackpot shows, I never personally had the chance to compete at a show of that caliber. It was a great opportunity for the Western Bonanza Management Team to be able to attend such a prestigious show and get ideas on how to continuously make our show better and better, as well as make connections that will benefit our futures.
Jace Tarbell, Livestock Manager
The trip to American Royal was extremely beneficial to the development and improvement of Western Bonanza. The American Royal provided many great opportunities to observe the amount of detail they place into their livestock shows and the prestige around winning the shows in Kansas City is awesome! However, the food was absolutely the best part and Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue was amazing!
Allison Finkes, Office Manager
Attending American Royal was a unique experience for me because I didn’t grow up showing livestock competitively. It was amazing to see how passionate the exhibitors and their supporters were about the livestock they showed. Watching American Royal reminded me that we need to continue to improve the show and awards by increasing premiums and payouts to acknowledge the time and effort the exhibitors put into their animals.
Katie Roberti, Marketing Manager
I loved attending American Royal! Seeing the quality of animals presented at this show was truly amazing. I was particularly enthralled with the steer show. I’m excited to take this experience and create a few new media projects out of some of the ideas I got while at American Royal, including videos and a blog for Western Bonanza.
Shelby Zumwalt, Sponsorships Manager
While at the American Royal I noticed some different ways of incorporating the sponsor’s signage into the show rings as well as around the facilities. After meeting with the Livestock Manager from the National Western Livestock Show, she was able to give me a ton of new ideas on how to improve Western Bonanza by improving advertisement for the sponsors.
Diane Meyer, Facilities Manager
It was great attending American Royal. Although the facilities are very different from ours, there were several aspects of the show Western Bonanza can benefit from. American Royal did a great job at promoting corporate sponsors by placing logos and banners around the show. I also loved the colored shavings and other decorative details that gave each show ring more of a ‘wow’ factor.