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Youth prepare for Junior Livestock Show

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

Dozens of young people across Caldwell County have spent this week bathing pigs, herding rabbits and blow-drying steers. No, the area youth have not gone mad, they are preparing for the 32nd Annual Caldwell County Junior Livestock Show, which kicks off at the Caldwell County Fairgrounds on Friday afternoon.

Organizers

expect that more than 100 participants, ranging in age from 8 – 18, will gather at the fairgrounds this weekend to share their hard work with the community in the form of well-raised hogs, rabbits, poultry, goats, lambs and, of course, cattle.

While most of the exhibitors admit they participate in the show for the experience and the education it offers, many agree that the scholarship money earned during the premium auction is also an important part of the show.

However, according to Caldwell County AgriLife Extension Agent Jeff Watts, this year’s participants have felt the same pressure as area farmers and ranchers as an oppressive drought continues and feed prices skyrocket.

“Just like the ranchers, these kids that raise steer, for instance, are having to supplement everything including water for their projects,” Watts said last month. “And in some cases, with feed prices being so high and the economy being so tight, they aren’t going to make enough at the auction to cover the expenses they put into their animals.”

Traditionally, the Saturday evening auction is intended to help with those expenses – and to reward the students for their hard work. However, as the economy continues to tighten, auction buyers, too, are feeling the pinch.

“I haven’t quite gotten the commitments this year that I’ve had in the past,” said Daniel Law, who took over a buyers’ group last year. “Where I’m really lacking is in the little contributors.”

Law offered a reminder that prospective donors who cannot afford to purchase a project outright, but still want to help, are welcome to make smaller contributions to the whole.

Kenneth Sneed, who runs a buyers’ group from First-Lockhart National Bank, agreed.

“I’ve had donors that can give $10 or $15, but can’t afford to buy a whole steer,” Sneed told the audience at the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce Luncheon early this month. “But anything you can do, we appreciate and these kids appreciate. After all, it’s all about the kids.”

Those interested in donating to a buyers’ group are welcome to contact Law at the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department, (512) 398-6777, ext. 201, or Sneed at First-Lockhart National Bank, (512) 398-3416.

The schedule of the 32nd Annual Caldwell County Junior Livestock Show and Sale is as follows:

Friday, Feb. 27
1 p.m. Broilers, with Turkeys immediately following;
2 p.m. (or later): Market Rabbits, with Breeding Rabbits immediately following.
4 p.m. (or later): Short Term Rabbits
5 p.m. (or later): Market Lambs, with Ewes, Goats and Breeding Goats following.

Saturday, Feb. 28
8 a.m.: Market Hogs, with Breeding Gilts immediately following.
10 a.m. (or later): Steers, with Breeding Beef and Overall Showmanship immediately following.
2 p.m (or later): Pet Show.

Events tie up with a barbecue dinner at 4:30 p.m., and the auction beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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