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MURFREESBORO – Like many events last year, the annual 4-H Livestock Show and Sale in 2020 was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But now that conditions are starting to improve, participants were back again this year, showing off the animals they raised over the past several months in the hopes of earning the title of “champion.”

Emalee Jones entered the hog competition and her animal was judged as the Grand Champion. She is shown with a representative from Producers Gin, who was the highest bidder for the hog at the auction. Contributed Photo

More than 25 participants, ranging in age from 9 to 18 years old, competed in showmanship and market categories at the show on Wednesday, June 9. In addition to the competitive categories, children aged 5 to 8 years old had the opportunity to participate in the noncompetitive “cloverbud” category.

The event, which is held each year at the 4-H Livestock Arena in Murfreesboro, is a joint effort coordinated by the Cooperative Extension offices of Northampton, Hertford, and Bertie counties.

The 4-H’ers brought a variety of livestock, including goats, lambs, hogs, and cattle. In the showmanship category, participants are judged on how well they handle and 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.

During the lamb competition, this entry from Morgan Myers was selected as Grand Champion. A representative of Hertford Farm Bureau is also pictured after submitting the winning bid for the lamb. Contributed Photo

A grand champion and reserve champion for each livestock category are named from the market class division.

Matthew Morrison served as the judge for this year’s event. He is currently a coordinator with the NC State University livestock judging team as well as the coordinator for the E. Carroll Joyner Beef Education Unit.

The top winners in each market category were as follows:

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

Jase Pope (Northampton Co.) – Market Goat Reserve Champion

Morgan Myers (Hertford Co.) – Market Lamb Grant Champion

Madisun Myers (Hertford Co.) – Market Lamb Reserve Champion

Emalee Jones (Northampton Co.) – Market Hog Grand Champion

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

Winn Lane (Northampton Co.) – Breeding Heifer Grand Champion

Participants in the showmanship category were divided into junior, intermediate, and senior divisions depending on their ages. The top two winners in each livestock showmanship category were as follows:

Goat (junior division) – Jase Pope and Jacob Simmons, both from Northampton County

Goat (intermediate division) – Jessa Pope and Laurali Lassiter, both from Northampton County

Goat (senior division) – Marlon Kunstler of Hertford County and Hunter Martin of Northampton County

Lamb (junior division) – Morgan Myers of Hertford County

Lamb (intermediate division) – Madisun Myers of Hertford County

Hog (junior division) – Bryleigh Dixon of Northampton County

Hog (intermediate division) – Colby Long and Chloe Long, both of Northampton County

In the goat market class, Jessa Pope’s entry was judged as the Grand Champion. She is pictured with a representative from Montague Farms, who purchased the goat at the auction. Contributed Photo

Hog (senior division) – Kathryn Long and Emalee Jones, both of Northampton County

Heifer (junior division) – Winn Lane of Northampton County

Other livestock show participants included Gray Lassiter, Ty Usalis, Rylan Dixon, Carter Lassiter, Quincy Ordnung, Aleigha Dalzell, Kadence Joyner, Kiersten Flythe, Savannah Martin, Sarah Howard, Sophia Howard, and Mya Davidson.

Young “cloverbud” participants showing goats included River Joyner, Colin Ordnung, Boone Usalis, Christopher Britt, Presley Ordnung, Jacob Dalzell, Brooklyn Sawyer, Eleanore Lassiter, and Wallace Lassiter.

Despite a few stubborn and lively animals, there were plenty of smiles from the participants as they competed in their categories.

Following the livestock show, the event concluded with a dinner and then an auction of the grand and reserve champion animals. Parker Phillips served as the auctioneer, a job he’s been conducting for the 4-H event since its beginnings 39 years ago.

Jessa Pope’s grand champion goat was purchased by Montague Farms, while Jase Pope’s reserve champion goat was purchased by Producers Gin of Murfreesboro.

Producers Gin also snagged Emalee Jones’ grand champion hog. Kathryn Long’s reserve champion hog went to Shady Oaks Farms.

Hertford County Farm Bureau purchased both the grand champion and reserve champion lambs, raised by Morgan Myers and Madisun Myers.

Winn Lane’s grand champion heifer was purchased by Cross Roads Fuels.

“The livestock show and sale is a great opportunity for the children to demonstrate all the knowledge and skills they acquired by working through the 4-H program to the communities they live in,” said Northampton County Livestock Agent Brandon Pike after the event. “The children are also able to have a fun experience while showing their animals.”