For months now, 4-H and FFA exhibitors have been feeding, training, and developing their livestock projects. It’s finally stock show time in Sutton County. Let’s make a few points about the stock show.

The arrival and weigh-in for Friday’s stock show will take place on January 6th from 3 to 6 p.m. at the 4-H Barns.

Showing of livestock will start at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, January 7th. Show order will be Market Lambs, Meat Goats, Angora Goats, and Swine. The Pee Wee Show is for 2nd graders who want to spend a few minutes in the ring with more experienced exhibitors to get a taste of what it’s all about.

You can see the shows and also enjoy a barbecue lunch. Tickets are available from any 4-H’er or at the Sutton County Extension Office.

But why do it or support it?

Texas enjoys the largest youth livestock program in the nation. Annually there are over 47,000 exhibitors and more than 97,000 animal projects. It’s an important and necessary experience.

With less than 2% of the U.S. population involved in production agriculture, it’s vital to expose youths to the complexities of raising livestock. 4-H livestock projects allow 4-H’ers to gain valuable knowledge in production systems, animal nutrition, and what it takes to raise an animal from weaning to finishing. For many kids this will be their only encounter with agriculture.

Educating youth about livestock husbandry, even within the stock show venue, helps them understand the management struggles that livestock raisers face. This experience will make each a more informed consumer. The daily chores help kids to learn work ethic, attention to detail, patience, perseverance, and many other practical traits.

These opportunities, however, come with incurred costs. Thankfully we are blessed with supporters. Businesses and individuals who share a passion for youth development and agriculture will contribute to youth stock shows in order to help support and promote the event. Donations are tax deductible as 4-H is a 501(c)(3) organization.

You should know that the premiums that exhibitors receive at the county stock show will help many with their future educational expenses. It is something they had to work for. And it IS work.

We would be honored to receive a contribution. If you’d like to hear more or contribute, please call the Sutton County Extension Office at 387-3101.