Livestock event showcases young talent

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 17, 2006

MURFREESBORO – For those of you who have never been up close and personal with a two-ton steer, you just missed your best chance for this year.

This past Tuesday, dozens of young animal enthusiasts participated in the 24th annual Hertford-Northampton 4-H Livestock Show and Sale in Murfreesboro.

The 4-Hers were on hand to showcase their skills in animal handling and showmanship.

The participants of the show are given the opportunity to show fans, potential buyers as well as the judge how well they have learned to identify the specific characteristics and qualities that make some animals prime candidates for the agricultural market.

The handlers all familiarized themselves with several aspects of agricultural science as it pertains to livestock.

Participants attended a market class and meat quality training as well as showmanship training in preparation for the event.

After hours of grueling competition with the animals, the youngsters had to endure watching the goats, lamb, hogs and steer be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Richard Vaughan of Rich & Rich auctions, purchased the competition’s Grand Champion steer. The steer was raised and showcased by Jimmy Baker of Northampton County.

Other championship efforts were recorded by:

Jay Baker won the Reserve Champion award in the steer showmanship category. Both winners are from Northampton County.

In the sheep category, Hertford County’s John Thomas Taylor was awarded the Grand Champion award and Cameron Taylor, also of Hertford County, was named Reserve Champion.

Shirley Lee Spruill of Hertford County captured the Grand Champion Hog award, while James Sykes of Northampton County garnered Reserve Champion in the same category.

Northampton County’s Matt Ellison was repeat Grand Champion in the goat category while Hertford County’s Mallory Ward was acknowledged as the Reserve Champion in that category.

&uot;This is a great event for the kids and the community,&uot; Vaughan said. &uot;We really appreciate the efforts of 4-H and are proud to support our youth.&uot;

Brent Jennings, a 4-H livestock technician for North Carolina State University, made his debut as the event’s judge.

Mainstays Heather Odom and Parker Phillips III served as emcee and auctioneer respectively.

Food and drinks were available at the event, which was attended by over 200 people for the entire day.