One of the most successful programs for community youth celebrates a big birthday this weekend.
The annual Churchill County Junior Livestock Show and Sale turns 80 years old, and to honor the event’s longevity, organizers will have a little party on Saturday with cake and soft drinks, said Karen Bogdanowicz, who oversees the county’s 4-H program and is a community-based instructor.
Local 4-H and FFA students who are participating in the annual three-day event at the fairgrounds will begin showing their animals Thursday. Potential buyers will also take some additional time Saturday morning to talk to student exhibitors about their animals and the animals’ history. Bogdanowicz said exhibitors are showing their lambs, goats, swine and dairy cows on the first day.
Exhibitors will display both their show and market animals beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday. Bogdanowicz said the students will display both their show and market animals. Bogdanowicz said the 4-H and FFA students will show their market swine, lamb, poultry, goat and beef, and after a short break, she said they will then enter the showmanship phase like a round-robin for the same five types.
Bogdanowicz said the number of participants has increased this year, and added many students are first-time exhibitors. She credits that to two FFA programs at Oasis Academy and Churchill County High School and more interested in the various 4-H clubs. Interest for the show and sale remains strong, according to Bogdanowicz, since the annual livestock show and sale allows students to practice skills in management, decision-making and project evaluation.
The auction begins Saturday at 1 p.m. after potential buyers have the opportunity to look at the animals designated for sale. A complete round ribbon kicks off at 9 a.m. Judges grade exhibitors for showmanship and overall winners in each livestock category are announced on Saturday. The day concludes with a buyers’ appreciation dinner.
Bogdanowicz said buyers save money when purchasing an animal. She used this previous analogy as an example: After processing, a steer could be as high as $1,000 based on $1.50 per pound on the purchase price. The yield could result in more than 500 pounds of steak, roast and hamburger.