Johnston County Youth Livestock Show & Sale Set For April 2nd-4th

A total of 123 youth from across Johnston County are registered to participate in the annual Johnston County Youth Livestock Show & Sale taking place next week.

The event will take place at the Johnston County Livestock Arena, located at 520 County Home Road and just off Highway 210 west of Smithfield beginning Monday, April 2nd and continuing through Wednesday, April 4th.

Youth will be exhibiting steers, heifers, market hogs, market lambs and market goats. Following the show, the animals will be sold to packers and the youth will participate in a support auction that generates funds for the children, most of which is banked for future projects or college expenses.

During the show, the animals will be placed based on market quality, and the children will also be placed on showmanship; how well they present their animals. Steers and heifers will show on Monday, April 2 at 5:00 pm. There are 6 steers and 12 heifers entered. Lambs and goats will be shown on Tuesday, April 3 at 1 and 4 pm, respectively. There will be approximately 25 lambs and 75 meat goats in the show. Approximately 85 market hogs will be shown at 9 am on Wednesday, April 4th.

At the conclusion of each species’ show, a fun event called “Children’s Revenge” showmanship will be held for that species. In this event, adults can borrow an animal to show, and the youth exhibitors who have won showmanship in the past serve as the judges.

A 4-H/FFA Livestock Judging Contest will be held on Tuesday, April 3 at 8:30. Teams of youth from across the region are invited to participate and try their hand at ranking classes of cattle, sheep, goats and hogs. The top five individuals and teams in both Senior and Junior age divisions will be awarded ribbons.

On Wednesday evening, buyers and participants will partake in the Buyer’s Meal, a catered barbecue and chicken dinner sponsored in part by Johnston County Farm Bureau.

At 6 o’clock Wednesday evening, just before the sale, the showmanship winners will be recognized, scholarships will be awarded, and a surprise honoree will be inducted into the Johnston County Agriculture Hall of Fame.

The Norman C. Denning, Sr. and Jean R. Denning Scholarship will be awarded, along with the Sonny Batten Memorial Endowment Scholarship, and several Youth Livestock Program scholarships.

Dan Wells, Johnston County Livestock Extension Agent says 6 high school seniors have applied for scholarships through the program this year.

“We awarded $8,000 in scholarships at the Show & Sale in 2017, but we had more seniors than this year,” Wells said. “Even though we have only half the number of seniors this year, their scholarship packages are very impressive. Every one of them was ranked in the top third of their class, one has already graduated early from high school, and another already has completed almost two years of community college. It’s very rewarding to see the types of accomplishments that kids in this program make. We hold two annual fundraisers to support scholarships and youth livestock activities, including the Show & Sale.”

The sale is supported by over 200 buyers each year, including businesses, farms, physicians, and individuals. Contributions can be made in any amount to any number of children in the program.

“The community support for the sale is outstanding,” Wells said. “And as long as a child submits their record books and works at the program fundraisers, they receive 100% of their sale proceeds, with no commission withheld.”

The 2017 sale grossed over $146,000.

For more information about the Johnston County Youth Livestock Show & Sale contact the Johnston County Cooperative Extension Office at 919-989-5380 or visit their website