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Students, volunteers gear up for Stock Show

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

Lions and tigers and bears?

Maybe not.

But the Caldwell County Fairgrounds will be full to overflowing this weekend with lambs and goats and steers. Oh, my!

Friday afternoon marks the beginning of the 33 rd Annual Caldwell County Junior Livestock Show, which will take place at the Caldwell County Fairgr

ounds (also referred to as “The Show Barn”) on Reed Drive off FM 20 East, on Friday and Saturday.

Youth from across Caldwell County, ranging in age from kindergarten to seniors, will share the show ring this weekend with animals ranging in size from rabbits to steers – and everything in between.

Over the course of the last month, families, participants and volunteers have been preparing for what has, historically, been one of the area”s largest youth events.

While volunteers strung fence and raked dirt at the Caldwell County Fairgrounds, parents and participants bathed, trained and validated their projects in preparation for the big event.

Now… the lambs are shorn, the bunnies are bathed, and the exhibitors are ready. At least they hope they are.

The first hurdle exhibitors and their projects have to leap is on Friday morning, as check-in and weigh-in begins.

In each show class, animals must finish within a certain weight range in order to be eligible for show. If their projects do not “make weight,” the participant”s work for the season might be lost, and they will be unable to participate in this year”s show and sale.

Weigh-ins start at 9 a.m. on Friday, with goats and lambs, followed by swine, beef, rabbits and poultry, and then re-weighs.

At 1 p.m., the excitement begins as the first class of exhibitors enters the ring with their broilers. Showing continues through Friday afternoon and evening, with the animals, and the potential prizes, getting larger and larger through the day.

On Saturday morning, participants, parents and volunteers will return to the ring shortly after sunrise, as swine showing begins at 8 a.m., followed by the beef showing and finally, showmanship awards.

Action in the show ring winds down with the pet show, which will begin around 2 p.m.

After the shows are complete, participants are able to take a break and get themselves (and their projects) dressed in their finest as they prepare for the premium auction, which begins at 6 p.m.

A full schedule of events is as follows:

Friday, Feb. 26
9 a.m. – noon: Check-in and weigh-in
1 p.m. – Broilers
Immediately following – Turkeys
2 p.m. (or later) – Market rabbits
Immediately following – Breeding rabbits
4 p.m. (or later) Short-term rabbits
5 p.m (or later) Market lambs
Immediately following – Breeding sheep
Immediately following – Market goats
Immediately following – Breeding goats
Saturday, Feb. 27
8 a.m. – Market Hogs
Immediately following – Breeding gilts
10 a.m. (or later) – Steers
Immediately following – Breeding beef
Immediately following – Overall showmanship
2 p.m. (or later) – Pet show
4:30 p.m. – Barbecue dinner
6 p.m. – Auction

Saturday evening”s auction allows CCJLS participants the opportunity to earn money for their hard work, either by adding to their funds for projects in the future, or as a savings plan to use for college. Because the auction is a “premium sale,” donations are just that – donations. Participants are not forced to give up their animals to the buyers and, instead, are able to continue to show their animals throughout show season, which many exhibitors do.

Those who may be unable to “purchase” animals outright are reminded that donations will be accepted, up until the beginning of the auction, by four “buyers” groups,” who pool money from several buyers in an effort to expand participation in the auction and give as many exhibitors as possible the chance to sell their projects for a premium price.

To participate in a buyers” group, contact Kenneth Sneed, Daniel Law, Steve Platt or Brent Bartsch.

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