MURFREESBORO – Kids and teenagers will gather together on Wednesday, June 13 for the culmination of months of their hard work. The 38th annual Hertford-Northampton 4-H Livestock Show and Sale will have participants show hogs, lambs, and goats for the judges this year.
Beth Burchell, who serves as Northampton County’s Cooperative Extension Livestock Agent, explained the show and sale is just one of a multitude of educational projects 4-H offers to youth. The project lasts 90 days for steers—though there are no steers participating this year—and 60 days for goats, lambs, and hogs.
“During that period of time, they have to take care of their animals, doing everything from feeding, healthcare, and training the animal to show and stand and present themselves to the judge,” Burchell said, adding that participants also learn about meat quality care and the importance of raising animals humanely as part of the food supply.
“It teaches them responsibility and leadership and presentation. Sportsmanship and showmanship skills are very important,” she continued.
A total of 41 participants from Northampton, Hertford, and Bertie counties will bring their animals to show at this year’s event. The youth range in age from 5 to 18 years old.
The 4-H Livestock Show and Sale has been a staple in the community for decades, Burchell pointed out. She said they’ve even had some families participate for multiple generations.
The annual event will be held at 910B East Main Street in Murfreesboro. The show will begin at 1 p.m. and last approximately three hours. Immediately following the competition, a “fun show” will be held for the general public of any age to participate in if they so choose. It’s like a practice show for people who want to experience the competition.
“The youth will bring their animals out and show kids that may be interested in joining the program about the animals and how much fun it is to show,” Burchell explained.
A barbecue dinner will be held at 5 p.m., and then the livestock sale will begin at 6 p.m. Both the show and the sale are open to the general public, and Burchell noted they always love to welcome more sponsors and spectators.
Without community support, Burchell said, the annual show and sale would not be possible.
“We want to thank everybody for their continued support. We encourage new possible sponsors and buyers to check out what’s going on and see the hard work these kids put into their projects,” she said.
The overall purpose of the 4-H program is to provide different opportunities for youth to actively participate in social and economic life in their communities. Though the livestock project lasts only a few months each year, the lessons participants learn from the experience will last much longer.