Kansas Junior Livestock Show celebrates 85 years
Hutchinson, Kan. — The Kansas Junior Livestock Show will celebrate its 85th year by hosting 812 youth from 95 counties who have entered 2,033 animals.
This is the largest number of entries in more than 20 years. The livestock total includes: 130 market steers, 334 breeding heifers, 262 market hogs, 275 breeding gilts, 325 market lambs, 316 breeding ewes, 220 meat goats and 171 commercial doe kids. The statewide event will be Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Kan.
For the fourth consecutive year, Douglas County leads the state with the most exhibitors, 34, and the largest number of total livestock entries, 97. Youth from Douglas County also entered the most market lambs, 20, and tied with Reno County for the most breeding ewes, 19. Reno County entered the most steers at six. The largest number of heifers, 27, was entered by Pottawatomie County for the second consecutive year. Montgomery County youth entered the most market hogs at 18, with Leavenworth County bringing the largest number of breeding guilts, 15. Labette and Miami counties tied for the most market goats at 11. Allen County competitors entered the most commercial doe kids, 10.
KJLS will award cash for the top five in both market and breeding shows in all four species. Direct cash payouts will range from $4,000 to $500 for steers; $1,000 to $300 for heifers; $2,000 to $500 for market hogs; $750 to $250 for breeding gilts; $2,000 to $300 for market lambs; $500 to $50 for registered breeding ewes; $500 to $100 for commercial ewes; $2,000 to $400 for market goats; and $750 to $200 for commercial doe kids.
On Sept. 30, KJLS will present scholarships to exhibitors who have excelled academically, in community service and in 4-H/FFA. This is the 25th year for the scholarship program, which awarded a total of $411,000 to 306 exhibitors since 1993. Last year, a total of $20,500 was awarded to 12 exhibitors.
Separate from the selection of species champions, a showmanship contest will be held. The top showman in both junior and senior divisions of each species will receive a silver belt buckle. Prizes also will be awarded for second through fifth place in each division.
KJLS will again offer the LEAD Challenge, which is an educational and advocacy event that provides an opportunity for exhibitors to learn about current industry issues and apply that information in a competitive environment. Exhibitors will be divided into three age divisions: junior, intermediate and senior. All will participate in the LEAD Listen & Learn, showmanship and skills stations. There are 35 juniors, 68 intermediates and 32 seniors entered in this year’s challenge.
The Kansas Livestock Foundation will sponsor a club calf show and sale during KJLS. Steer and heifer prospects from some of the top club calf producers in the Midwest will be consigned. The event will take place Sept. 30. Sale commission proceeds will go toward KLF Youth in Agriculture scholarships.
The Mid-America Classic Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest will be Sept. 29 in conjunction with KJLS. This event, which has been held for more than 30 years, provides competitors the opportunity to sharpen their livestock evaluation skills, develop their critical thinking and decision-making abilities and refine their public speaking skills.
The Kansas Livestock Association, Kansas State University and the Agri-Business Council of Wichita serve as major show sponsors. In addition to Cargill, other sponsors include Merck Animal Health, Seaboard Foods, Ag Choice/MFA, Kansas Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau Financial Services, Friends of KJLS, Range Master Trailers, Syngenta and the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Hundreds of volunteers from across the state also help organize and put on the show.