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States largest Junior Livestock Show draws youth from 86 counties
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Auction premiums and scholarships will be on the line as youth from 86 Kansas counties exhibit at the 78th annual Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS), Sept, 24-27 in Wichita. A total of 678 4-H and FFA members have entered 1,424 head of livestock in the show. The total includes 134 market steers, 295 breeding heifers, 352 market hogs, 247 market lambs, 49 purebred ewes, 158 commercial ewes and 189 meat goats.
Pottawatomie County leads the state with the most exhibitors, 29, and the largest number of breeding heifers, 35. Johnson County tops the steer and market lamb categories, with eight and 16 head, respectively. Dickinson County is sending 21 market hogs, 11 commercial ewes and 66 total head of livestock, the most of any county in the state in these three categories. This is the third consecutive year Dickinson County has sent the most total livestock entries. The largest number of purebred ewes entered, six each, was a tie between Lyon and Osage counties. The largest number of meat goats, 28, was entered by Labette County youth.
At the show’s conclusion, the grand and reserve champion steers, hogs, lambs and goats will sell during the KJLS Auction of Champions, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 27. The public is welcome and encouraged to support the event by bidding on livestock in the live auction. In many cases, exhibitors of the winning animals use the money earned from the auction to help fund their college educations and buy next year’s livestock projects.
Prior to the premium sale, KJLS will present a number of scholarships ranging from $750 to $2,500 to exhibitors who have excelled academically, in community service and in 4-H/FF A. A total of $264,700 in scholarships has been presented to 221 KJLS exhibitors since the program’s inception in 1993. Last year, a total of $18,950 was awarded to 15 exhibitors. The scholarship program is funded primarily through private contributions and income generated by the Beefeaters Barbecue held in the Sam Fulco Pavilion at the Kansas Coliseum prior to the auction. Tickets to the barbecue are $60 and can be purchased at the door that evening or in advance by calling Cheryl Smith at (316) 978-9509.
“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 George Teagarden of LaCygne. “We invite individuals and businesses to help reward these hard-working young people by attending the Beefeaters Barbecue, participating in the sale or contributing to the scholarship fund.”
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 Junior Livestock Association (KJLA) 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 September 25. Sale proceeds will go toward KJLA/Kansas Livestock Foundation Youth in Agriculture scholarships. KJLA is the youth arm of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA).
KJLS is sponsored by KLA, Kansas State University and the Agri-Business Council of Wichita. In addition to these groups, hundreds of volunteers from across the state help organize and put on the show.
Local exhibitor is Athena VanderMeer of Great Bend. She will show two market lambs, three commercial ewes and a meat goat.