It’s stock show season again. Both 4-H and FFA members have been working hard all winter to get to the county stock show to exhibit their prized animals. This year the show will take place Feb. 20 to 23 at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds.
A stock show is an event where county youth exhibit their show projects to a judge who places the animals by quality standards. The five traditional species of livestock are cattle, swine, sheep, meat goats and broiler chickens. Youth also compete in showmanship which goes beyond the physical appearance of the animal and instead focuses the exhibitor’s ability to showcase their animal’s traits. Showmanship demonstrates an exhibitor’s commitment to working with their animal regularly.
Who is involved in the program? 4-H youth involved with this program range from 8 to 19 years of age and represent every community within the county. FFA students range from high school freshmen to seniors. These kids come from both the urban and rural parts of the county and all walks of life.
What can I expect to see at the show? Of course, you will see lots of animals being led around and exhibited, but it’s the behind the scenes activities that make the program what it is. If you look down any aisle at the show barn, you will see kids having fun and working together to make their animals look their best.
Shows are a competition, and the winners do receive prizes. Show participants receive awards based on their placing in a class and in the show overall. After the show is completed on Friday night, there is a bonus auction for the youth with animals that place at the top of their species. At the bonus auction, premiums are provided by local donors to youth so that they can continue their show projects the next year.
This 4-H/FFA livestock program has been a part of Cleveland County for 73 years and continues to help develop our county’s youth. During the week of Feb. 20 to 23, the tradition of showing will continue with the Cleveland County Junior Livestock Show. All are welcome to come and visit the show free of charge. Visit with the 160 youth with their 350 livestock projects, and see for yourself the impact show projects have on youth and the impact the 4-H and FFA youth have on the community. For more information about the show or to get a show book, please contact the Cleveland County Extension Office at 405-321-4774 or visit http://oces.okstate.edu/cleveland.