Novartis Animal Health sponsors ‘Ultimate Heifer Makeover’ competition

• Novartis Animal Health helps promote interest and involvement in the beef industry by sponsoring a youth team fitting competition at the North Carolina Junior Beef Roundup

• Team fitting competition draws largest-ever participation with 36 young beef cattle enthusiasts

• Competition is designed to focus on team building and cattle grooming/fitting skills

Greensboro, NC (June 24, 2009) – Four North Carolina beef cattle enthusiasts received first place honors in the “Ultimate Heifer Makeover” competition held during the North Carolina Junior Beef Roundup, June 5-7, 2009, at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The event was sponsored by Novartis Animal Health US, Inc., which is headquartered in Greensboro, NC.

Sarah McEntire of Four Oaks, NC, Jordan Kennedy of Kinston, NC, and Jordan and Sidney Cox of Trenton, NC, were this year’s winners of the competition, which showcased cattle fitting skills and team work. Each member of winning team received cattle grooming clippers and an award medal. Second and third place team participants received gift certificates for cattle grooming supplies and award medals.

“We were pleased to see the number of exhibitors interested in taking part in the contest this year,” said Bryan Blinson, executive director of the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association. “We changed the contest name and the rules so that participants could focus on basic grooming skills and work easily as a team. When exhibitors heard that Novartis would be sponsoring prizes that support their passion for showing cattle, they got very enthusiastic and competitive. It was hard for the judges to determine the winners.”

A total of 36 participants made up nine teams that took part in the event. Each team was required to have four members, and only one member could be between the ages of 17-21 years – all others had to be younger. Beef heifers used in the contest had to be entered in the cattle show.

Once all teams had finished preparing their heifers in the wash area, they were timed for 30 minutes to finish grooming their cattle. Only clippers, conditioning products, blowers, combs and brushes could be used. Once the time ran out, one member from each team presented their team's heifer in the show ring to four judges who asked questions, evaluated work and determined the winners.

“Events like this that support youth who have an interest in beef cattle production are very important to us [Novartis],” said Wade King, eastern region cattle sales manager for Novartis Animal Health. “It is a way for the company to give back to our customers and their children, as well as provide encouragement to young people to stay involved in the beef cattle industry in the future.”

About North Carolina Junior Beef Roundup

The North Carolina Junior Beef Roundup (NCJBRU) was started in 1983 to provide comprehensive evaluation of 4-H members’ knowledge of the cattle industry. The event is held annually at the Jim Graham Building, NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, and is organized by junior beef enthusiasts and their advisors, and representatives of the Purebred Breeders Council, North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association and North Carolina State University 4-H and Youth Livestock Department. The NCJBRU includes a showmanship competition, heifer show, a fitting/grooming competition, and photography and poster contests. In 2009, 128 participants showed a total 258 cattle.

About Novartis Animal Health

Novartis Animal Health researches, develops and commercializes leading animal treatments that meet the needs of pet owners, farmers and veterinarians. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Animal Health conducts business in 40 countries and employs about 2,600 people worldwide. For more information, please consult http://www.ah.novartis.com.

About Novartis

Novartis AG provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on healthcare, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, diagnostic tools and consumer health products. Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. In 2008, the Group’s continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 41.5 billion and net income of USD 8.2 billion. Approximately USD 7.2 billion was invested in R&D activities throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 98,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.

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