The 83rd annual Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS), proudly sponsored by Cargill, promises to be a big event, with 738 youth from 87 counties entering 1,861 animals. This is the largest number of livestock entered in more than 25 years. The total includes 147 market steers, 338 breeding heifers, 244 market hogs, 194 breeding gilts, 305 market lambs, 261 breeding ewes, 229 meat goats and 143 commercial doe kids. The statewide event will be held October 2-4 at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson.
For the second consecutive year, Douglas County leads the state with the most exhibitors, 42, and the largest number of total livestock entries, 100. Youth from this county also have entered the most market lambs, 24, and breeding ewes, 19. Coffey County has entered the most steers, 13. The largest number of heifers, 30, was entered by Pottawatomie County. Dickinson County is sending 17 market hogs, the most of any county in the state. Franklin County youth are bringing 14 breeding gilts, which represents the largest number for this category. Bourbon County competitors have entered the most meat goats, 11, and commercial doe kids, 16.
New this year to KJLS will be cash awards for the top five in both market and breeding shows in all four species. The show is replacing the premium auction event with direct cash payouts ranging from $4,000 to $500 for steers; $1,000 to $300 for heifers; $2,000 to $500 for market hogs; $750 to $250 for breeding gilts; $2,000 to $400 for lambs and market goats; and $750 to $200 for ewes and commercial doe kids. The KJLS Board of Directors enhanced these awards to recognize more of the show’s exhibitors than ever before and is looking forward to showcasing the state’s prized livestock this fall.
Immediately following Saturday evening’s exhibitor barbecue, sponsored by Merck Animal Health, KJLS will present scholarships to exhibitors who have excelled academically, in community service and in 4-H/FFA. This is the 23rd year for the scholarship program, which has awarded a total of $368,700 to 281 exhibitors since 1993. Last year, a total of $20,100 was awarded to 13 exhibitors.
“KJLS is a great chance for our livestock-producing youth to participate at a higher level of competition and interact with others from throughout the state,” said KJLS President Dale Lanham, Yates Center.
Separate from the selection of species champions, a showmanship contest will be held. The top showman in both the junior and senior divisions of each species will receive a silver belt buckle. Prizes also will be awarded for second through fifth place in each division.
The Kansas Livestock Foundation (KLF) will sponsor a club calf show and sale during KJLS. Steer and heifer prospects from some of the top club calf producers in the Midwest will be consigned. The event will take place October 3. Sale proceeds will go toward KLF Youth in Agriculture scholarships.
The Mid-America Classic Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest also will take place October 3 in conjunction with KJLS. This event, which has been held for more than 30 years, provides college teams the chance to compete in a quality, collegiate-level livestock judging contest earlier in the season.
KLA, Kansas State University and the Agri-Business Council of Wichita serve as major show sponsors. In addition to Cargill and Merck, other sponsors include Seaboard Foods, Ag Choice/MFA, Kansas Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau Financial Services, Friends of KJLS, Elanco Animal Health, Syngenta, Kansas Department of Agriculture, S.O.W. Corporation and Western State Bank. Hundreds of volunteers from across the state also help organize and put on the show.
Local youth engerted in the show include: Great Bend: Steele Brack, Market Lamb, Comm Ewes, Meat Goat, Comm Doe Kid, Sheep Shmnshp and Goat Showmanship; Ellinwood: Justyn Shafer, Commercial Breeding Heifer and Beef Showmanship; Katie Shafer, Market Steer, Market Lamb, Meat Goat, Beef Showmanshipand Goat Showmanship