Stars of the Stockyard

Published 5:19 pm Friday, June 14, 2024

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MURFREESBORO – Several months of hard work led up to the moment on Wednesday afternoon where local children and teens paraded their animals around the livestock arena.

Sean Garcia, who judged the event, quizzes a local 4-H’er about her animal. Staff Photo by Holly Taylor

The 42nd annual Hertford Northampton 4-H Livestock Show and Sale was held on Wednesday, June 12 in Murfreesboro. The event is coordinated by the Cooperative Extension Offices of Northampton, Hertford, and Bertie counties.

4-H participants, ranging in age from 9 to 18 years old, compete in the showmanship and market class divisions by showing their animals in the livestock arena to be judged. “Cloverbuds,” which are younger 4-H’ers ages 5 to 8, participate in a non-competitive show.

The animals this year included goats, lambs, and swine.

Sean Garcia served as the judge. Originally from Texas, he now works as an Ag teacher in Stedman, NC. Garcia got his start in livestock judging while he was pursuing his degrees at Clarendon College and then Sam Houston State University.

During the 4-H Livestock Show, participants first compete in the Showmanship division. They are judged on how well they present their animal. The judge also asks them questions about their animals, expecting detailed answers to demonstrate the knowledge they’ve gained from the experience over the past few months.

Sometimes, the animals didn’t want to cooperate, but the 4-H’ers kept their cool inside the arena and continued to smile for the judge as they nudged their animals back in line.

Showmanship winners, by age division, this year were as follows:

Goat, junior: Jacob Dalzell (1st), River Joyner (2nd), Colin Ordnung (3rd), Boone Usalis (4th)

Goat, intermediate: Jase Pope (1st), Ty Usalis (2nd), Aleigha Dalzell (3rd)

Goat, senior: Jessa Pope (1st), Kadence Joyner (2nd)

Lamb, junior: Gage Toms (1st), Brooklyn Sawyer (2nd), Drake Creech (3rd), Boone Usalis (4th)

Lamb, intermediate: Ty Usalis (1st), Collin Parker (2nd)

Lamb, senior: Zoie Creech (1st)

Swine, junior: Rylan Dixon (1st), Bryleigh Dixon (2nd)

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

Young cloverbuds who also participated by showing goats, lambs, or both, included Piper Joyner, Emma Usalis, Andrew Freeman, and Kohlton Sawyer.

Following the showmanship judging, 4-H’ers competed in the Market Class division. In that competition, the judge considers the animal’s physical appearance, including muscular development, finish, structure, size, carcass qualities, and more. Like the showmanship competition, the 4-H’ers are expected to share the knowledge they’ve gained from their experience as they answer the judge’s questions.

Animals in the market class division are divided by weight (light, medium, heavy). Winners in each weight division were as follows:

Goat (cross), lightweight: River Joyner (1st), Boone Usalis (2nd)

Goat (cross), heavyweight: Colin Ordnung (1st)

Goat (boer), lightweight: Jacob Dalzell (1st), Aleigha Dalzell (2nd)

Goat (boer), medium weight: Jace Pope (1st), Kadence Joyner (2nd)

Goat (boer), heavyweight: Jessa Pope

Lamb, lightweight: Ty Usalis (1st), Boone Usalis (2nd)

Lamb, medium weight: Drake Creech (1st), Gage Toms (2nd)

Lamb, heavyweight: Zoie Creech (1st)

Swine, lightweight: Chloe Long (1st), Rylan Dixon (2nd)

Swine, heavyweight: Colby Long (1st), Bryleigh Dixon (2nd)

The first-place winners in each market class are then considered together for the judge to select a grand and reserve champion.

Those champions were as follows:

Jessa Pope – Market Goat Grand Champion

Jace Pope – Market Goat Reserve Champion

Drake Creech – Market Lamb Grand Champion

Ty Usalis – Market Lamb Reserve Champion

Chloe Long – Market Swine Grand Champion

Colby Long – Market Swine Reserve Champion

After all the judging was concluded, a “fun show” was held for anyone wishing to get in the ring and learn how to show an animal, with 4-H’ers and parents helping out.

The event closed out with a “fun show” that was held for anyone wishing to get in the ring and learn how to show an animal. Staff Photo by Holly Taylor

Family and friends gathered in the stands of the livestock arena to cheer on the kids and teens throughout the event.

The livestock show and sale is an all-day event for participants who brought their competing animals earlier that morning for the weigh-in portion of the event. Later that evening, a dinner was held, followed by the annual auction.

Parker Phillips returned once again as the auctioneer, a role he’s held since the inception of the local livestock show. Matthew Place served as the assistant auctioneer.

Chloe Long’s Grand Champion Swine was purchased by Burgess Farms Partnership and Shady Oak Farms Trucking. Colby Long’s Reserve Champion Swine was purchased by Dyna-Gro Seed.

Dyna-Gro Seed also outbid others for Ty Usalis’ Reserve Champion Lamb. The Grand Champion Lamb from Drake Creech was purchased by Rich & Rich Auctioneers.

Producer’s Cotton Gin had the highest bid for Jessa Pope’s Grand Champion Goat, and Hertford County Farm Bureau was the highest bidder for Jase Pope’s Reserve Champion Goat.

“The 2024 Hertford Northampton Livestock Show and Sale had representation from all three counties this year,” said Northampton Cooperative Extension Livestock Agent Brandon Pike. “We had many more guests and visitors to the show and to the sale.”

“All the youth had a great time and were well-supported by our community members,” he continued. “We appreciate all the support and look forward to an even bigger show and sale next year.”

Anyone interested in participating in next year’s show can reach out to their local Cooperative Extension Office for more information.