Organizers of the 2017 Douglas County Junior Livestock Show are inviting 4-H members, Future Farmers of America members and the public to attend this year’s event, scheduled for June 3 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 410 Fairgrounds Road.
The show serves as a fundraiser for the 4-H Youth Council to generate scholarship money for college-bound 4-H students. Any 4-H or FFA member ages 8 to 18 showing goats, sheep or cattle may participate in the livestock show.
But the show is about more than raising scholarship funds, organizers say.
The event is also about tradition and preserving the county’s agricultural roots, said Sue Weinroth, a 4-H club leader in Sedalia who’s helping the Youth Council organize the June show.
“For me, it’s just encouraging people to embrace the history of the area,” she said.
Noah VanBibber, who showed livestock as a 4-H youth and is helping the Youth Council organize the show, said it’s also an opportunity for kids to get their animals in the ring and practice before show time during the Douglas County Fair and Rodeo in August.
“It actually means a lot,” VanBibber said of the show for 4-H and FFA students. “Not only does this help with the scholarships, it also helps with preparation for the show, which you need to do throughout the summer.”
FFA and 4-H members can sign up the day of the event, Weinroth said. She estimates nearly 100 kids participated in last year’s show — an all-day event that starts with animal weigh-in at 7 a.m. and runs until the last animal has been shown.
“It’s kind of fun to see these kids, what they do,” she said.
Participants, who pay to enter, spend the morning prepping their livestock for the day’s show and have spent long hours and sometimes money raising the animals, Weinroth said.
“All the way up until fair, these kids are grooming and maintaining and not only feeding their animals well, but maintaining their body, coat and structure,” VanBibber said.
Weinroth also hopes members of the general public will attend, even if they don’t have a 4-H or FFA connection.
“I just encourage people to bring especially their young kids down. It’s just an opportunity to see animals, touch animals,” Weinroth said. “It’s just a great way to introduce your kids to farm animals and farm life.”