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March 1, 2010

Pontotoc County Junior Livestock Show approaching

Ada — Pontotoc County 4-H and FFA members are putting in some extra hours and hard work while trying to prepare their livestock projects for the upcoming Pontotoc County Junior Livestock Show.  The show is scheduled for March 3-6 at Pontotoc County Agri-plex with the goat show beginning Thursday, March 4 at 10 a.m. The beef show will follow the goats beginning at 5 p.m.  On Friday, March 5 the lamb show will begin at 10 a.m. and the swine show will begin at 3 p.m.  On Saturday, March 6, the Livestock Judging Contest will begin at 10 a.m., the Cattle Fitting Contest will begin at 12 p.m., the Lamb Lead will begin at 5 p.m. and the premium sale will begin at 6 p.m.

The youth exhibitors participating in the show have been caring for their animals for five to 12 months through all types of conditions.  Sometimes it is really difficult to maintain the dedication to get up early on those cold or rainy mornings to go feed and care for these animals.  For one of the youth exhibitors to really do things right and to be successful not only in Pontotoc County but also District and State level shows there is a tremendous amount of work and dedication involved.  For some of these youngsters, this is a year long project, as soon as they finish with this year’s project they will start on one for next year, while others have raised their animals from birth.

The purpose of youth livestock projects is to use the animals to teach the youth many things like responsibility, hard work and dedication, record keeping, how to accept the good times and the bad, and general life skills and to acquire knowledge and love for animals.  If you have not been around these shows you will not believe the way that these kids help each other out even though they are competing against each other.  As much work, as there is involved in these livestock projects, the kids realize that their competitors and friends need help just as they do.

There is always much anticipation involved as to whether the exhibitors will qualify for the premium sale, which will be held on Saturday, March 6, at 6 p.m.  The premium sale is the time for local businesses and individuals to reward the youth for the hard work and dedication that they have put into their project over the last year.

These livestock projects can be really costly to the individuals just in feed cost alone, costing several hundred dollars for just the feed portion of the expenses.  Over the length of the feeding period, just the feed bill alone really adds up, especially if they are feeding multiple animals.  The premium sale allows the exhibitors an opportunity to recover some of the expenses involved through the generous donations made by businesses and individuals.

Everyone is invited to attend both the show on Thursday and Friday and the premium sale on Saturday evening to watch the youngsters showcase their livestock projects.    These 4-H and FFA members are something that we need to be proud of because they are the future and the pride of Pontotoc County.

For more information:  contact Justin McDaniel at the OSU Cooperative Extension Office:  580-332-2153.

 

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