Extension Agent: Big stock show time
By By Brian Yanta
March 20, 2012 at midnight
Updated March 19, 2012 at 10:20 p.m.
Every year at this time, youth from around the state exhibits their livestock in what we call the major stock shows.
These stock shows include the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, Fort Worth; San Antonio Livestock Exposition, San Antonio; San Angelo Stock Show, San Angelo; Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston; and the Star of Texas, Austin.
Professional breeders and ranchers also are eligible to exhibit, competing for top dollars and global recognition in the livestock industry.
The spotlight shines on junior exhibitors during competition, where Texas 4-H and FFA members line the arenas with their livestock projects.
Exhibitors bring their best stock for evaluation by professional judges. Their livestock ranges from meat goats, beef cattle and sheep, to breeding poultry and rabbits.
More than 100,000 entries will be a part of the competition for the stock show season collectively, all vying for top titles, ribbons, trophies and premiums in the show ring.
All junior livestock entrants must personally groom and raise their animals under the supervision of agricultural science teachers or a county extension agent. They must be at least in the third grade and from 8 to 19 years old to enter.
The pinnacle of the junior livestock competition is the junior market auction program, where buyers pay phenomenal prices for livestock.
An exhibitor is guaranteed an excellent price, well above market value for his or her animal. And all premiums and monies go toward that youth's college scholarship savings.
Highlights from the San Antonio Livestock Show: Tallis and Jadan Butler, Berclair 4-H Club, both placed sixth with their lamb projects making the sale.
Highlights from the Houston Livestock Show: Jadan Butler, Berclair 4-H, placed second with her Southdown lamb; Landry and McCalley Cunningham, Weesatche 4-H, placed sixth and 11th respectively with their goat projects; and Brooke Yanta, Stampede 4-H, placed 11th with a goat, and all made the sale.
Other 4-H participants at the major shows: Kayla Brandes, Kourtney Brandes, Daniel Dohmann, Dalton Dornburg, Tuffy Dornburg, Beth Henning, Keli Miller, Blaine Shelton, Carolyn Swize, Justin Swize, Kendra and Kayla Webel.
FFA participant: Brenden Russell.
Brian Yanta is the Goliad County Extension agent.