For the teams that participated in our early contests, we are continuing our return to the days of old where you can participate in our contests to tune up for the American Royal!

The Thirty Sixth Annual Jesse James Barbeque Cook-Out (34th Annual Show-Me State Championship) contest will be held during the 53rd Annual Jesse James Festival, September 20-21, 2024. Check-in time is 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday.

We are very proud to continue to have Red Top Farms (a division of Premier Proteins) located here in Kearney as a major sponsor this year. Other sponsors are North Kansas City Beverage Co., distributors of Anheuser Busch products, and St. Michael’s Knights of Columbus Council No. 8915 of Kearney, in conjunction with the Jesse James Festival Committee. The contest will again be sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and their judging procedures will be used. This contest is the SHOW ME STATE CHAMPIONSHIP which is determined by the four basic categories.

We will have one division with SIX categories. The Four Basic categories are, beef brisket, pork ribs, chicken, and pork shoulder/Boston butt only. The two ancillary categories are pork chops from a top loin, and new for this year, tenderloin. A top loin of approx. 4 lbs. and 2 lbs. tenderloin will be provided by Red Top Farms at the cooks meeting. Judging will begin at 12:00 p.m. Saturday, September 21st. ONLY THE FOUR BASIC KCBS CATEGORIES WILL COUNT TOWARD THE GRAND CHAMPION AND RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION!

The contest will be held at Jesse James Park, 3001 N. 33 highway as in the past few years. The pavilions at the festival grounds will be the site of the cooks meeting at 6:00 p.m. Friday night and the awards presentation Saturday afternoon.

This will also be the site for all the Jesse James Festival activities which will include a beer garden, and concert on Saturday night.

There will be many other activities, so please visit the website for other activities. The demo derby will be held Sept 14th with the rodeo on the third weekend Sept 21-22 which will be the same rodeo company as last year.

We will continue with the increased prize money to a total of $8,300, (this will be for ten places in each category plus the Reserve and Grand Champion). We will be paying for the first ten places beginning with $225 for first place and decreasing down to tenth place. The overall Reserve Grand Champion will receive $550 and a trophy. The Grand Champion will receive $700 and a trophy. RED TOP FARMS WILL BE AWARDING A $1,500 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO THE GRAND CHAMPION THAT CAN BE USED FOR THE NEXT YEAR. THE FIRST PLACE WINNERS IN ALL CATEGORIES (except chicken) WILL RECEIVE A $250 GIFT CERTIFICATE. The Kearney Chamber of Commerce will also award a plaque for the Showmanship Award.

The entry fee is $275 for all categories. Advance registrations are strongly encouraged with a deadline of September 9th. Electrical hook ups (20 amp) will be available this year for $25, generators are permitted. Entry forms and copies of rules and regulations will be posted to the website or you may request by email or mail from JESSE JAMES BARBEQUE COMMITTEE, 1305 COLONY DRIVE, KEARNEY, MISSOURI 64060.

If you have any questions, call Larry at 816-935-9644. Interested judges can email Valerie Fort at or contact her by phone at 816-719-5141.



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