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Animals on parade

MURFREESBORO – An assortment of cattle, goats, lambs, and swine were proudly on display here at the 37th annual 4-H Livestock Show and Sale on Wednesday, June 12.

The show is a culmination of months of hard work done by the 4-H’ers who raise the animals themselves. Twenty-eight participants, ranging in age from 9 to 18 years old, competed in showmanship and market categories for different livestock. A total of eight children, ages 5 to 8 years old, participated in the noncompetitive “cloverbud” category, showing off young goats and lambs.

The event, which is held each year at the 4-H livestock arena in Murfreesboro, brings together children and teenagers from Northampton, Hertford, and Bertie counties.

In the showmanship division, participants are judged on how well they are able to exhibit their animal. The judge also quizzes them on how well they know the animal they raised. Livestock in the market class are divided into weight categories and are judged based on muscular development, finish, structure, size, and carcass qualities.

This year’s judge was Danielle Riggs, a University of Mount Olive graduate, long-time 4-H volunteer, and will soon become the 4-H Agent in Greene County.

The top winners in each market or breeding category were as follows:

Nashia Harris (Northampton Co.) – Market Steer Grand Champion

Kavon Green (Northampton Co.) – Market Steer Reserve Champion

Kiersten Flythe (Northampton Co.) – Breeding Heifer Grand Champion

Jessa Pope (Northampton Co.) – Market Goat Grand Champion

Noah Harris (Northampton Co.) – Market Goat Reserve Champion

Brittany Vandiford (Northampton Co.) – Market Lamb Grand Champion

Brooke Vann (Northampton Co.) – Market Lamb Reserve Champion

Chloe Long (Northampton Co.) – Market Hog Grand Champion

Colby Long (Northampton Co.) – Market Hog Reserve Champion

The top three showmanship winners, which were divided by age into Junior and Senior divisions, were as follows in each category:

Steer (Senior division) – Nashia Harris (1st place) and Kavon Green (2nd place)

Heifer (Junior division) – Kiersten Flythe (1st place)

Goat (Senior division) – Marlon Kunstler of Hertford County (1st place)

Goat (Junior division) – Jessa Pope (1st place), Kadence Joyner of Northampton County (2nd place), and Anasha Harris of Northampton County (3rd place)

Lamb (Senior division) – Brittany Vandiford (1st place), Brooke Vann (2nd place), and Joshua Puac-Puac of Bertie County (3rd place)

Lamb (Junior division) – Anasha Harris (1st place) and Zoie Creech of Northampton County (2nd place)

Swine (Senior division) – Kathryn Long of Northampton County (1st place), Omoni Harris of Northampton (2nd place), and Emalee Jones of Northampton County (3rd place)

Swine (Junior division) – Isaiah Harris of Northampton County (1st place), Colby Long (2nd place), and Chloe Long (3rd place)

Other livestock show participants included Rylan Dixon, Lucye Kunstler, Hunter Martin, Brody Parker, Logan Parker, Bryleigh Dixon, Hadassah Harris, Winn Lane, Quincy Ordnung, Jase Pope, Jacob Simmons, Ty Usalis, Drake Creech, Josiah Harris, Justin Jones, Savannah Martin, Ty’Kedra Vaughan, and Joslyn Flythe.

After the competitions were complete, anyone interested was able to participate in the “fun show” to get a feel of what it’s like inside the arena. Young children and adults alike had a good time walking goats and lambs around with guidance from 4-H participants.

And the day didn’t end there for 4-H’ers. The annual auction for the champion animals was held in the evening following a dinner.

Nashia Harris’ grand champion steer was purchased by Rich & Rich Auctioneers, while Kavon Green’s reserve steer was purchased by Northampton County Farm Bureau Insurance and Federation.

Northampton County Farm Bureau Insurance and Federation also went on to purchase Kiersten Flythe’s grand champion heifer, Noah Harris’ reserve champion goat, and Brooke Vann’s reserve champion lamb.

The grand champion goat raised by Jessa Pope was bought by Producers Gin.

Murfreesboro Farms purchased Brittany Vandiford’s grand champion lamb.

The grand and reserve champion hogs raised by Chloe and Colby Long were purchased at the auction by Burgess Farms Partnership and Noah & Jessica Burgess (grand champion hog) and Steven Burgess and McGee Farms (reserve champion hog).

“Without the strong community support we are fortunate to have for our youth and agriculture in this area, this event would not be the success it is each June, and we cannot thank our community enough,” said Northampton County Livestock Agent Beth Burchell after the annual event concluded.

“The Livestock Show and Sale is a highlight to my year,” added Northampton 4-H Agent Sara Villwock. “The moments the youth experience during this project are ones that cannot be taught, but felt. I enjoy watching the youth grow in life skills and learn through this project.”

“The time they invest in their projects is exactly what 4-H stands for,” she concluded. “Learn by doing to make the best better.”