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Central States Fair

Family, friends kick off 4-H Month during Western Junior

F.Ganje - October 8, 2019

RAPID CITY, SD – There is no other show of its kind.  And few – if any – that can claim 82 consecutive years. The Western Junior Livestock Show (WJLS) will welcome a record number of entries to the Pennington County Fairgrounds, October 9-12 in Rapid City.

Having shown, volunteered and judged over the years,  long-time secretary and manager Jackie Maude, Hermosa, SD shares a unique perspective when talking about the event.

“There are other events that are significant to 4-H,” says Maude. “But there is nothing quite like Western Junior,” she observes. “We’ve got two families who are working on the fifth generation of kids.  They go back to the actual founding fathers of the Western Junior.”

This years event honors three, long-time participants and volunteers. Lynn Schell, Rapid City, has volunteered as the plant ID judge at Western Junior for over 20 years. Growng up on the family ranch near Caputa, SD, she is the District Conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Wall, SD and has organized the Regional Land and Range Judging Contest for three decades as well as Rangeland Days, a joint FFA and 4-H event.

Gary Rose grew up attending Western Junior.  A life-long rancher near Chamberlain, SD, Rose has been a 4-H leader for 30 years, and has served as both a director and president of WJLS having been involved in the event over the past four decades. The five kids and 15 grandkids in the Rose family have all been involved in 4-H and eight of the grandkids will be showing at this years WJLS. His own daughter is a director now and his step son is currently vice president and will take over as president next year.

After years in the 4-H program himself, Chamberlain rancher Jim Glaus became a 4-H leader at the age of 19.  He has attended every WJLS since the age of nine, with the exception of one year.  Having been involved in 4-H for 50 years, he points to the organization as having benefited him and his family. He has served as a director and president of the all-volunteer organization.

Maude says it’s the volunteer aspect of the show that is a mainstay of its continued success. “We have a super, super group of volunteers who put the show on - from all across the state and from other states too,” she notes. “There is always someone there to step up and help.  This year, there are a lot of new names coming through. It’s nice to see the show is growing with young people.”

The Western Consumer Science Show runs in tandem with livestock events. See more information on the Western Junior Livestock Show and the Western Consumer Science Show on line at www.westernjuniorlivestock.com and on Facebook.

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