The 64th annual Junior Livestock Show and Sale – which begins Thursday – is expected to continue a long-standing tradition of empowering youngsters with a show designed for Cherokee County residents of all ages.
It's a revered event that helps the young ones truly develop their gifts, show officials said.
“Not long ago I was in the shoes of the current youth of Cherokee County,” explained Wade Mc-Knight, show chairman, in an issued release. “The generous support of county businesses helped mold me into who I am today. I encourage you to continue your support so we may continue to build a stronger Cherokee County through our youth.”
Large crowds are expected.
The show, which begins Thursday, hosts hundreds of exhibitors showing hundreds of projects – all on display at the Cherokee County Stock Show & Exposition Center on West Loop 456 in Jacksonville from 1 p.m. Thursday through Saturday afternoon. A livestock sale immediately follows a barbecue lunch catered by Sadler's at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Area 4-H and FFA groups have been working on their livestock, horticulture and shop projects since October, officials said.
Livestock projects include poultry, rabbits, dairy and beef cattle, swine, goats and horses. Plant projects range from tomato plants raised from seed to exotic flowers and potted plants. Metal and wood shop projects are hand prepared by Cherokee County youth.
Youth groups participating in this year’s show include FFA clubs from Alto, Wells, Bullard, Jacksonville, Rusk, New Summerfield and Troup; and the Classic, Cloverleaf, Footbridge, Hearts in Bloom, Lookout and Wells 4-H groups.
Improvements this year include sun shade for the east end of the barn, and updated sign wall, and new cordless microphones for the PA system. Show officials also plan to award two $1,000 scholarships during the show this year.
And, don't forget! Someone special will be crowned 2013 Cherokee County Junior Livestock Show Queen at the conclusion of the contest, which starts at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Contestants this year include Alexandra Husbands of the Jacksonville Future Farmers of America; Ashley Urban of the Wells FFA; Brittany Spaine of the Lookout 4H; Kala Lindsey of the Troup FFA; Kelcey Chometa of the Alto FFA; Megan Gardner of the Rusk FFA; Natalie Truett of the Wells 4H; Rachel Mayes of the New Summerfield FFA; and Kialey Beeney of the Footbridge 4H.
And, oh yes: There's a dab of the 21st century. For those of you buying livestock and bidding on or buying other items, the folks at the rodeo are now accepting most credit cards and debit cards.
Show officers and directors for 2013 are President Wayne Berry; 1st Vice President Steve Hutson; 2nd Vice President Randy Low; Past-President Randy Low; Secretary Jennifer Crowley; Treasurer Royce Traylor; Precinct 1 reps Randy Berry, David Yancy, and Johnny Walley; Precinct 2 reps Lee Pearman, Jay Jones and Chuck Smith; Precinct 3 reps Gregg Allen, Billy Spaine, and Wendy Twelt; and Precinct 4 reps Wade McKnight, Robbie Barber, and Kevin Ivy; Show Chairman Wade McKnight; Co-show Chairman Steve Hutson; and Show Secretary Lindsey Robertson.
Wayne Berry, board of directors president, also expressed much enthusiasm about the show.
“I want to invite everyone to come out and help us support the youth of Cherokee county,” Berry said in a statement. “Also, I want to thank all the buyers, exhibitors, families, sponsors and volunteers who support our show each year. Without you, our show could not survive.”