Every year, after months of getting up early to feed and work with animals, students from across Erath County gather at the Livestock Association barn to compete in the annual youth livestock show. And this year's dates have been shifted slightly - to Wednesday, Jan. 8, through Saturday, Jan. 11.
"We've moved the days around a bit. Our main goal was to make it so we can have the sale on Saturday," said board member Danny Phillips. "We wanted to make it so that the sale is something everyone comes out for at the end of the week. Being on Tuesday last year, and in previous years, makes it difficult for people who have work the next day to come out."
Phillips and the rest of the board members and volunteers hope to bring more community members out to the show, which will feature not only swine, beef, goats, rabbit, chicken and dairy projects, but also more than 100 fair projects including categories like desserts, decorated cakes, candy, welding and woodwork, arts and crafts, textiles and much more.
The 2014 Jr. Livestock Show of Erath County will start at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8, with market swine and beef projects arriving. Goats and lambs can arrive at 5 p.m. and classification for market swine will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9 at 11 a.m. the market swine show will kick off the official livestock show. The broiler show will be at 4:30 p.m., followed by the rabbit show at 5 p.m., with the breeding goats show closing out the day at 6.
Friday, Jan. 10, will start at 8 a.m. with the horse show and youth fair check-in. The market goat show will begin at 9 a.m. and will be immediately followed by the market lamb show. The breeding heifer show will be held at 2 p.m. and will be followed by the market steer show. Dairy stock may begin arriving at 5 p.m. on Friday.
Saturday, Jan. 11, will begin with breeding dairy check in at 7 a.m. and the dairy show at 9. The buyer's appreciation supper will being at 5 p.m. for all buyers from the 2013 Jr. Livestock Show. Phillips said new buyers are also welcome and the board is considering allowing meals to be purchased by community members as well.
Showmanship recognition and the annual awards presentation will be held at 5:30 p.m. The Sale of Champions will begin at 6 p.m. and will feature the winners and top placings from each division. The market and dairy auction will immediately follow the champions.
"We want to continue to grow our show and make it better for not only our participants, but also those in attendance and our buyers who support our kids," Phillips said. "Maybe these changes will make that a little easier for everyone. That's our goal."