Cherokee County 4-H Agent
On Friday, March 11th and Saturday, March 12th Cherokee County 4-H hosted its first annual spring livestock show event. Fifty-seven youth from three states braved the rain, wind, and freezing temperatures to show off the hard work they have put into raising and training their livestock. Market hogs, beef cattle, and rabbits were exhibited over the course of the two days. Our distinguished judges were John Barnes (hogs and cattle) of Wilson County North Carolina and Julia Waddell (rabbits) of Inman.
Friday night was the Market Hog Show. Youth showed their hogs in showmanship and market classes. In showmanship youth were divided into age groups and judged on how well they were able to present their hog and exhibit its best traits to the judge. Anna Barrett Penland, of Laurens, won the belt buckle for top Junior Showman and Langley Vernon, of Anderson, won the belt buckle for top Senior Showman. Market classes were determined by the weights of the hogs. The top pig from each weight class was chosen by the judge and held over to compete for Grand and Reserve Champion Market Hog. Grand Champion Lottery Market Hog went to Cade Simpson of Anderson and his pig, BBQ. Jack Dill of Jonesville received Reserve Champion Lottery Market Hog for his pig Uno. The Open Market Hog Grand Champion was Anna Barrett Penland and her pig Slushie, while Reserve Grand Champion Open Market Hog went to Carley Tolbert of Franklin County Georgia and her pig Trigger.
The competitions continued Saturday morning with beef cattle and Saturday afternoon with rabbits. Once again, the youth were judged on their knowledge of their animal and ability to present their animal in a way that would display its best traits. Belt buckles were awarded to Lillian Wilkins of Blacksburg for top Cloverbud Beef Showman, Josey Tolbert of Franklin County Georgia for top Junior Beef Showman, Jonathan Felipe of Habersham County Georgia for top Intermediate Beef Showman, and to Hailee Campbell of Enoree for top Senior Beef Showman. The winner of the Rabbit Showmanship Belt Buckle was a Senior Showman, Jason Conners of Van Wyck.
After the showmanship competitions were completed, the animals were divided by breeds and judged by how closely they conformed to the standard for their breeds. A top animal was chosen for each breed of cattle and held over for the Supreme Champion Heifer competition. At the end of the day, Jonathan Felipe and his Simmental heifer, Woodlawn Splendid, were awarded the $1,000 check and title of Supreme Heifer for the show. The Best in Show of the Rabbit breeds was awarded to Jason Conners and his Mini Rex rabbit, Gene.
Cherokee County 4-H also presented a Herdsman Award to one youth in the Market Hog Show and one youth in the Beef Show. This award was given to two young men who demonstrated a positive attitude, a diligent work ethic, and a willingness to help others during their time at the show. Andrew Jewell of Gray Court was awarded the Swine Herdsman of the Year and Ross Arthur of Union was awarded the Beef Herdsman of the Year. In addition to a beautiful plaque, each young man was awarded a cash prize of $250.
This show would not have been possible without the support of our community. Cherokee County 4-H wishes to thank all 37 of our sponsors who made it possible for us to award over $10,000 in cash prizes to the youth for their hard work. Chick-fil-A of Gaffney and Firehouse Subs of Gaffney provided us with concessions to raise money for our 4-H Scholarship Fund. Mr. Bill Sarratt and his staff at Sarratt Farms prepared their facilities for our use. Mr. Peter Wilkins, Mrs. Karen Allen, and countless others were instrumental in all the behind the scenes work that goes into organizing a livestock show. A special award was given to Mr. Robert Blanton to recognize him for his hard work and dedication to the youth of 4-H and specifically to the Cherokee County 4-H Spring Livestock Show.
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