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States largest livestock show draws youth entries from 91 counties
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Youth from across the state have entered 1,456 head of animals for the 79th annual Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS). A total of 713 4-H and FFA members from 91 counties will show 109 market steers, 318 breeding heifers, 323 market hogs, 273 market lambs, 52 purebred ewes, 168 commercial ewes and 213 meat goats. The competition will take place September 23-26 at the Kansas Pavilions in Wichita
Marion County is sending 31 exhibitors to the show, the most of any county in the state. Johnson County youth have entered nine steers, 20 market lambs, 12 commercial ewes and 69 total head of livestock, the most of any county in the state in these four categories. The largest number of heifers, 30, was entered by Pottawatomie County. The market hog category is led by Washington County, with 21 entries. The largest number of purebred ewes entered, eight head, is a tie between Greeley and Lyon counties. Exhibitors from Labette County entered the most meat goats with 16 head.
When the competition is complete, grand and reserve steers, hogs, lambs and goats will sell during the KJLS Auction of Champions, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 26. 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 auction, 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/FFA. A total of $283,600 in scholarships has been presented to 232 KJLS exhibitors since the program’s inception in 1993. Last year, a total of $18,900 was awarded to 11 exhibitors. The scholarship program is funded primarily through private contributions and income generated by the Beefeater Barbecue held in the Sam Fulco Pavilion prior to the premium sale. Tickets to the barbecue, which will begin at 5:30 p.m., are $60 and can be purchased at the door that evening or in advance by calling Cheryl Smith at (316) 390-0285.
“This traditional event for Kansas youth has a large number of faithful and very generous supporters,” said KJLS President Ed Frey of Wichita. “It is a great way for businesses and individuals to reward young people for their hard work and help them meet their educational goals.”
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 24. Sale proceeds will go toward KJLA/Kansas Livestock Foundation Youth in Agriculture scholarships. Since its inception 30 years ago, this program has awarded more than $40,000 in scholarships to Kansas youth.
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.
Barton County has six exhibitors with one barrow, six lambs, two commercial ewes and seven meat goats. They include: Ellinwood - Justyn Shafer,  market lamb, meat goat; Rozel - Katie Shafer, market lamb, meat goat, and Mattie Shafer, market lamb, meat goat; Great Bend - Jamie Stroud, market barrow, Athena VanderMeer, commercial ewe, and Austin VanderMeer, meat goat.