Everyone’s a winner!

Published 5:53 pm Friday, June 16, 2023

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MURFREESBORO – After months of hard work, local 4-H participants were ready for the “big day” on June 14 as they brought the animals they raised to the arena for judging at the 41st annual 4-H Livestock Show.

The event was held in Murfreesboro, and is a joint effort coordinated by the Cooperative Extension Offices of Northampton, Hertford, and Bertie counties.

Participants, ranging in age from 9 to 18 years old, showcased cattle, swine, goats, and lambs in the showmanship and market categories. In addition to the competitive shows, children aged 5 to 8 years old participated in the noncompetitive “cloverbud” category to get a taste of what a livestock show is like.

This year’s judge was Stacie Winner, a senior at Oklahoma State University. She grew up in Nash County raising goats and has shown a variety of livestock at 4-H events at the county, state, and national levels. She was a part of the 2022 Senior Collegiate National Champion Livestock Judging Team, and is currently coaching the Wilson County Livestock Judging team.

Participants in the livestock show spend several months raising their animals in preparation for June’s show. They compete first in the showmanship category, and are judged on their knowledge of their animals and how well they can handle them in the arena. Participants are divided by age in this category, with junior, intermediate, and senior divisions.

Stacie Winner, who judged this year’s event, chats with Emma Usalis during the “Cloverbud” part of the show. Staff Photo by Holly Taylor

Following showmanship, most participants also choose to compete in the market class competition, which judges the animals based on muscular development, finish, structure, size, and carcass qualities. There are lightweight and heavyweight divisions based on the weight of the animal. Grand and Reserve Champions are chosen for each animal division.

The top winners in each market category this year were as follows:

Rylan Dixon – Market Cattle Grand Champion

Colby Long – Market Swine Grand Champion

Chloe Long – Market Swine Reserve Champion

Jessa Pope – Market Goat Grand Champion

Jase Pope – Market Goat Reserve Champion

Ty Usalis – Market Lamb Grand Champion

Zoie Creech – Market Goat Reserve Champion

Prior to selecting the Grand and Reserve Champions, the judge selected winners in the lightweight and heavyweight divisions for swine and goats. The top two winners in each market class division were as follows:

Swine Lightweight 1st Place: Chloe Long

Swine Lightweight 2nd Place: Colby Long

Swine Heavyweight 1st Place: Colby Long

Swine Heavyweight 2nd place: Kiersten Flythe

Goat (Boer Class) Lightweight 1st Place: Jacob Dalzell

Goat (Boer Class) Lightweight 2nd Place: Aleigha Dalzell

Goat (Boer Class) Heavyweight 1st Place: Jessa Pope

Goat (Boer Class) Heavyweight 2nd Place: Jase Pope

Goat (Cross Class) Lightweight 1st Place: Presley Dean Ordnung

Goat (Cross Class) Lightweight 2nd Place: Boone Usalis

Goat (Cross Class) Heavyweight 1st Place: Hunter Martin

Goat (Cross Class) Heavyweight 2nd Place: Gray Lassiter

Participants in the showmanship category were all smiles as they walked their animals around the arena. The winners in each livestock showmanship category were as follows:

Cattle (intermediate): Rylan Dixon (1st)

Swine (junior): Bryleigh Dixon (1st)

Swine (senior): Colby Long (1st), Chloe Long (2nd), Kiersten Flythe (3rd)

Goat (junior): Jase Pope (1st), Presley Dean Ordnung (2nd), Jacob Dalzell (3rd), Boone Usalis (4th), Wallace Lassiter (5th), Gray Lassiter (6th), Gabriel Knight (7th)

Goat (intermediate): Jessa Pope (1st), Laurali Lassiter (2nd), Quincy Ordnung (3rd), Ty Usalis (4th), Aleigha Dalzell (5th), Carter Lassiter (6th)

Goat (senior): Kadence Joyner (1st), Hunter Martin (2nd)

Lamb (junior): Drake Creech (1st), Braxton Knight (2nd)

Lamb (intermediate): Ty Usalis (1st), Zoie Creech (2nd)

Young “cloverbud” participants who showed goats included River Joyner, Piper Joyner, Eleanor Lassiter, Collin Ordnung, and Emma Usalis.

Family and friends gathered in the stands at the livestock arena to cheer on the young 4-H’ers during the event, and after all the judging was concluded, there was a “fun show” for anyone wishing to get in the ring and learn how to show an animal.

The day concluded with a dinner and then an auction of the Grand and Reserve Champion animals. Parker Phillips returned once again as the auctioneer, a role he’s held for 40+ years since the inception of the local livestock show.

Rich and Rich Auctioneers purchased Ty Usalis’ grand champion lamb and Chloe Long’s reserve champion hog. Zoie Creech’s reserve champion lamb and Jessa Pope’s grand champion goat were purchased by Northampton Farm Bureau. Crossroads Fuels had the highest bid for Colby Long’s grand champion hog. Rylan Dixon’s grand champion heifer was purchased by Producers Gin. And Dyna-Gro beat out other bidders for Jase Pope’s reserve champion goat.

Northampton County Extension Livestock Agent Brandon Pike said this year’s show and sale went very well with a lot of participants and animals, and even potential future competitors who took part in the “fun show.”

“This event, and all the workshops leading to it, teach the youth of the counties important life skills and about the food system,” Pike said. “We encourage any other youth that are interested to reach out to the Extension Office in their county for more information.”

Meetings for next year’s show will begin again in October.