Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

Weekend packed with contests, exhibits, sales at Western Junior

RAPID CITY, SD – The Western Junior Livestock Show and the Western Consumer Science Show are events that pay a bit more attention to the connection between production agriculture and the end product.  Gate to plate is how it’s often characterized.

As the 82nd show winds down this weekend (Oct. 11-12) at the Pennington County Fairgrounds in Rapid City, show secretary and manager Jackie Maude talks about the commitment the show and its participants have towards teaching good stewardship.

“There’s a lot of 4-H shows that don’t include the feeder animals; feeder steers and feeder heifers,” says Maude.  “We have the futurity beef show and a futurity heifer breeding show that no one else has. Those are teaching tools for our kids.” She explains, “Futurity animals are shown and signed up, the kids have them all through the year and then bring them back to the show the following year. It’s a two year commitment for those kids with that particular project.”

“With the futurity heifers,” explains Mauce, “we’re trying to teach  kids how to pick a heifer and grow her up and bring her back as a bred animal. And they will get the calf the next year and go on. She continues, “The futurity beef is all the about the end-product.  Consumers are an important part of the ag equation. “

Each year, the show – that attracts exhibitors from as many as six states – culminates with the livestock sale, set for Saturday, Oct. 12 on the fairgrounds.

“The futurity sale and meat sale is where you can fill your freezer with beef, pork, lamb, and meat goat,” says Maude. “We take those to local lockers if you’re interested in buying meat.”

Throughout today and tomorrow, the Western Family Consumer Science Show offers exhibits, judging, a style revue, along with adult contests.  Show President LaDonna McKnight says its where you really see town and country interests working side by side in many areas.

“We want the public to come and observe or participate,” says show president LaDonna McKnight. “We have contests on Friday afternoon where adults are welcome to come and test their knowledge in a number of different areas. The Family Consumer Science Skill-a-Thon is also part of the competitions.”

She adds, “The Style Show and awards presentation is set for 3pm on Saturday.  This year, the consumer sciences organizers are honoring the Central States Fair organization for its support and use of facilities it has provided the show for over 50 years.”

Long-time volunteer Marv Williams says the livestock sale is the culmination of a year’s worth of work on a 4-Her’s part as their animals go through the sale ring.  Feeder heifer and steer calves and junior heifer calves sell at 2:00pm, Sat., Oct. 12 on the fairgrounds.  That’s followed by market swine, sheep, goats and the live futurity sale. “Folks can buy quality hamburger, roast and steaks to put on their dinner tables,” observes Williams.  “There are volunteers ready to help folks make a purchase and we’ve got local processing plants ready to take delivery right there at the sale.” 

There’s the added benefit of knowing that when purchasing at this sale, proceeds go directly to the 4-H’er – and is more often than not – used for such things as school needs and livestock purchases. Ensuring another year of learning through 4-H.

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