SMITHFIELD – To comply with orders from the Governor and NC Cooperative Extension Administration, organizations of the Johnston County Youth Livestock Show & Sale announced Wednesday the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Johnston County Youth Livestock Show & Sale, which was set for April 13-15. There were 129 children from across Johnston County signed up to participate.
“This decision was dreaded and we put off having to make that call for as long as possible, holding out hope that the rate of COVID-19 infection would decrease and allow the event to continue in some form” said Johnston County Livestock Agent Dan Wells. “But when our guidelines were made clear late last week, there was no alternative. All Extension events in the next 60 days were to be cancelled unless they could be held online. That’s just not possible with this event. If we waited 60 days, that would put animals that were in their prime on the original show date past their desired endpoint, and give unfair advantage to animals that had not developed properly. Plus, there’s no assurance that the event would be allowed after 60 days.”
A truckload sale is planned April 13th for steers and hogs, and April 15th for sheep and goats. The steers and hogs will be sold by phone, and the sheep and goat sale will be handled by Powell Livestock Company of Smithfield. Wells said, “At this point, the kids have nearly all the investment in raising their animals, and now this. But the last portion of the 4-H pledge states ‘I pledge my health to better living; for my club, my community, my country and my world.’ So we have to do what’s right for our neighbors and take these steps to safeguard everyone’s health.”
Supporters wishing to add-on support bids to children’s project animals are welcome to do so. Typically, the children write letters seeking this support well in advance of the event. Many of those letters have already gone out and some funds of support have already been received. Any business or individual may contribute to an individual child, multiple children or all who were signed up to show a market animal. Contributions should be designated by April 15th. Any supporter pledging $100 or more can request an invoice from the Johnston County Cooperative Extension Office.
There were 12 seniors enrolled in the program this year, six of whom submitted scholarship applications. Those applications will be ranked and winners will be announced at a later date.