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Youth livestock shows a year-round sport

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Youth livestock shows are often associated with county fairs, but showing livestock for the youth of Floyd County is a year-round sport.

Many who have witnessed livestock shows might only see a child leading an animal around the show ring, but for the youth exhibiting their animals it takes months of hard work to make sure their animal is ready for the showring.

Months before the show season an animal must be purchased by the exhibitors. Many exhibitors may even raise their animal from birth. After an exhibitor acquires ownership they then participate in the day to day care for their animals. This not only allows the exhibitors a chance to get to know their animals, but to also gain a sense of responsibility.

For many of our exhibitors participating in livestock shows is an opportunity for families to spend quality time together and also pass down knowledge and experience of the family business.

“Showing cattle is a lot more than just ribbons and awards,” said Brandon Johnson, a 4-H certified volunteer and a teacher at Rome High School. “My kids are able to meet others across this country and develop relationship that will last a lifetime. It also teaches them responsibility and hard work, but most importantly it is a family affair and we get to spend some very valuable time together. Something that I look back on when I was showing and realize how important it was to me to spend time with my dad and one day I hope my kids will do the same.”

Prior to each show animals are bathed, dried, clipped using special shampoos, oils and other equipment to make sure the animals are presentable and their best qualities highlighted.

Once they enter the show ring not only are the animals judged, but also the exhibitors. Exhibitors are asked in-depth questions about their animal to gauge the level of knowledge about the animal’s anatomy, gestation period and various other questions. They are also judged on how well they represent their animal and maintain eye contact with the judge.

For many viewing the show, the work is done once the show has concluded. But for the exhibitors and their families there are additional animals at home that need to be fed, the regular house chores and the day to day chores of the farm.

However, for many exhibitors livestock showing and life on the farm often are preparing them for future careers in agriculture and veterinary care.

Karmen Hobert, a Floyd County 4-H Club president, has received various agricultural opportunities through her participation in livestock showing.

“4-H has given me many opportunities and experiences with livestock and agriculture that have bettered my knowledge,” Holbert said. “4-H has given me a sense of certainty that the field of veterinary science is the right fit for me.”

This past weekend Floyd County 4-H had seven youths participated in three different livestock shows in a period of three days:

Carroll County Winter Classic — Lexi Terry, Grand Champion Breed, 5th Showmanship; Kayla Lecroy, Grand Reserve Champion, 1st in Class; Karmen Holbert, 3rd Showmanship, 2nd in Class; Riley Holbert, 10th Showmanship, 3rd in Class; Blaine Terry 4th Showmanship

AgGeorgia Farm Credit Junior Swine Show — Caroline Jenkins, 5th Showmanship, 6th in Class

AgGeorgia Farm Credit Junior Heifer Show — Kayla Lecroy, Grand Reserve Champion Class, 1st in Class, 1st in Showmanship; Baylor Johnson, 1st in Class, 5th Overall in Show; Lexi Terry, 1st in Class, 2nd Showmanship; Blaine Terry, 1st in Class; Karmen Holbert, 1st in Class; Riley Holbert 1st in Class