The Austin County Fair is gearing up to host its much-anticipated 2023 Calf Scramble event, an enduring tradition that has been a cornerstone of the fair for over three decades. Initiated by Judy Tiemann, the Calf Scramble has evolved into a platform providing invaluable opportunities for the youth of Austin County to foster their skills in raising heifers, whether they are commercial or registered. The program’s primary objective is to empower exhibitors with the knowledge required to raise heifers and kickstart their own herds.

Scheduled to take place on the second Saturday of the fair, this year’s Calf Scramble will unfold on Saturday, October 15th, during the 7:00 pm PRCA Rodeo performance. Participants who have successfully completed the application process will have the chance to meet this year’s generous sponsors and, during the performance, compete for a coveted $1000 certificate that can be used to purchase either a commercial or registered heifer. It’s worth noting that this program’s entire funding is generously provided by sponsors who play a pivotal role in the program’s continuity and offer exhibitors the opportunity to delve into the world of agriculture and responsibility.

The ACF Scramble committee, a vital component of the program, consists of dedicated members who bring their wealth of experience to guide and support participants throughout the yearlong project. Chaired by Troy Oliver, the committee includes Leann Hein, Erika Guerrero, Anna Krueger, Natalie Jones, Baylee Adams, Lee Compton, Nate Compton, and Rodney Melnar, all of whom have either participated in calf scrambles themselves or had their children involved in similar programs, both in Austin County and on the major show circuit.

This program is open to any boy or girl who has celebrated their 12th birthday on or before September 1, 2023, and has not progressed beyond their junior year in high school. Eligibility also extends to those residing in Austin County or enrolled in a public school, private school, or homeschooling within the county, and who are members of a 4-H Club or FFA Chapter in Austin County. Participants are allowed to apply as many times as they wish and can potentially receive up to two certificates.

For those participants who manage to successfully catch a calf, a $1000 Calf Scramble certificate awaits them. This certificate can be utilized to acquire a commercial or registered heifer, which they will raise during the 2023-2024 year and showcase at the 2024 Austin County Fair. The program features several contests within it, such as monthly sponsor reports, expense reports, photography, an ending essay, stall boards, scrapbook creation, and a fighting heart essay. Participants who excel in these contests can secure cash prizes and other valuable rewards. An additional $200 is up for grabs for those who complete all program requirements. Furthermore, there are overall awards for the top three exhibitors, adding an extra layer of competition and incentive.

For individuals interested in learning more about the program or considering sponsorship opportunities, detailed information is readily available on the Austin County Fair’s official website at This year’s Calf Scramble promises not only to be an exciting event but also an excellent opportunity for Austin County’s youth to develop vital life skills and experience the rewards of hard work and dedication in the realm of agriculture.


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