News Release Distributed 01/16/14
BATON ROUGE, La. – As many as 5,000 young people from across Louisiana will converge at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, La., for the 79th annual LSU AgCenter Livestock Show. The show, which runs from Feb. 8-15, is the statewide competition that students in 4-H and FFA livestock projects enter after placing in parish and district shows.
Livestock Show manager Dwayne Nunez said entrants show animals including pigs, sheep, goats, beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry and rabbits as well as participate in skills tests and competitions.
A highlight of the state show is the Premier Exhibitor Program, which is supported by an endowment from Gerry Lane Enterprises in Baton Rouge. The program is available to participants exhibiting beef, dairy, swine, sheep, poultry and goats. Testing all facets of the youths’ ability in their livestock projects, the contest comprises an interview, a resume, a test, a skill-a-thon and showing abilities. The awards include a $500 cash award plus a jacket and belt buckle for the first-place winner.
Other event sponsors have donated more than $50,000 in scholarship premiums for champion market animals, Nunez said.
One of the largest agriculture events in the state, the AgCenter Livestock Show exposes youth to the many facets of agriculture, Nunez said. In addition to caring for animals and preparing them for the show, participants learn about science and develop leadership qualities.
"It teaches those young people all those pillars of character that we're trying to teach throughout the year," Nunez said. "Livestock's a little bit different than many other projects that we have because it is an everyday responsibility."
While the annual event may be called a livestock show, it’s more about the young people than their animals, said Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture.
“This event provides an opportunity for some of the most outstanding youth in the state to receive recognition for their hard work in learning not only the scientific principles that must be mastered but also the responsibility required to raise this wide array of animals,” Richardson said. “This show also is about the dedication of the many parents, teachers, volunteer leaders, 4-H agents and FFA advisers who have worked with the young people to help them grow as people and responsible citizens.”
More information about the show is at www.LSUAgCenter.com/livestockshow.