Jacksonville Daily Progress
Even though he's technically a greenhorn, 8-year-old Brantley Bauer came across more like a pro Saturday on the last day of the 64th-annual Junior Livestock Show and Sale.
“I've wanted to do this since I was a little kid,” the very serious third-grader explained as he proudly held his goat named Billy. “I wanted to do this so much because my sister did it.”
And his efforts paid off.
The confident, enthusiastic, and polite young man was key in helping the Jacksonville FFA win "outstanding" status, officials said.
Thousands of area residents attended the last day of the show Saturday. And as of Monday, money was still coming in, but the total amount gained in sales at that point tentatively was estimated at $244,285 — which was excellent news to participants.
“It was awesome,” enthused Royce Traylor, organization treasurer. “It's much higher than last year. We sold 103 animal projects, and 63 shop projects. It was huge. And it went really smoothly.”
Youth groups participating in this year’s show included 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.
Livestock projects included poultry, rabbits, dairy and beef cattle, swine, goats and horses. Plant projects ranged from tomato plants raised from seed to exotic flowers and potted plants. Metal and wood shop projects on hand were prepared by Cherokee County youth.
Wayne Berry, board of directors president, said the show basically acts as its own recruiter.
“We had people say they saw the cars out there at the show and stopped to see what was going on and looked at the animals and liked what they saw,” Berry said. “It had a tremendous impact.”
In April, participants will gather again for an extensive debriefing session.
“We'll have a meeting in April to talk about this one and kind of wrap it up,” Berry said. “Then we'll turn around and start in May working toward 2014.”