Neither rain nor mud nor wind will stop FFA and 4-H youth from participating at the annual Churchill County Junior Livestock Show and Sale, which begins today and ends Saturday afternoon at the fairgrounds.
This year’s participants were delayed Thursday in showing their breeding and diary livestock because of the mud caused by Wednesday night’s heavy rains in the valley, said Jackie Bogdanowicz, one of this year’s livestock organizers and a conservation specialist with the Lahontan and Stillwater Conservation Districts.
Bogdanowicz said potential buyers can talk to the children about their animals. According to Bogdanowicz, buyers learn more about the animal’s history, and if they want, buys can resell an animal.
Bogdanowicz said 4-H and FFA youth will exhibit beef, sheep, swine, goats, rabbits and poultry. The round robin on Saturday begins at 9 a.m. followed by the sale at 1 p.m. on Saturday, while Friday’s activities that begin at 9 a.m. focus on market animals and showmanship. The breeding stock classes include swine, sheep, goat, beef, dairy cows, dairy goats, poultry and rabbits.
“This event allows youth to practice skills in management, decision-making and project evaluation,” said Karen Bogdanowicz, a 4-H community-based instructor. “The show and sales gives our community the opportunity to encourage and reward youth who are engaged in positive and productive efforts.”
Tanner Strietenberger was grooming his one-month sow Thursday morning. The 13-year-old 4-H member has been raising swine for almost nine years. He said it’s difficult keeping them groomed before showing them at the livestock sale.
In another aisle, 11-year-old Colton Hoffman was taking care of his swine, “Avalanche.”
“I raise two (swine) a year, and I also raise cattle like Black Angus,” Hoffman said. “It’s a challenge to raise animals.”
During the sale and days leading up to it, Hoffman said he likes the other participants who show their animals.
Kinsli Rogne was trimming one of her swine’s ears as her mother, Nicole, watched.
“I was involved with this for four years,” Nicole Rogne said. “When I was little, I showed sheep. When it came time for her (Kinsli) to do it, I said why not. It’s a good program for the kids, and a lot of responsibility comes with this.”
Nicole Rogne said she and her daughter tend to get sad during the livestock sale because they part with the animals.
“You raise them, but that’s part of the experience,” she added.
Outside, Matt Fagundes, 12, was tending to his 18-month old heifer. He said when the steer was born, he bottle-fed it every morning and night.
Now competing in the livestock show for her fifth year, Marie Lawson, 13, is showing steers this year, but the experience comes easy for her.
“I was raised on a cattle ranch since I was born,” she said. “I really like agriculture and showing animals.”
Each buyer will receive a pamphlet explaining two ways in which to participate. The buyer can either attend the sale in person or do so by proxy.
Overall, Jackie Bogdanowicz said buyers save money when purchasing an animal at the sale. For example, she said the savings after processing on a steer could be as high as $1,000 based on $1.50 per pound on the purchase price. The yield, she said, could be about 543 pounds of steak, roast and hamburger.
Not all exhibitors will be grooming their livestock for sale. Bogdanowicz said some children will be showing dairy cows, dairy goats, rabbits and poultry, both for breeding.
During the show, judges examine the students for their showmanship. Overall winners in each livestock category are announced on Saturday.