Best in Show at the N.C. State Fair
Youth livestock events are a highlight of the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. Participants typically range in age from 8 to 21, though some start as young as age 3. Competitions include cattle, swine, sheep and goats in the livestock division, along with turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits in a separate division. But these livestock and poultry shows are about more than just winning ribbons.
“Regardless of the event, youth involved in livestock projects develop life skills such as record keeping, time management, commitment, public speaking, decision making as well as technical knowledge related to livestock management such as nutrition, reproduction and health,” says Neil Bowman, director of livestock for the fair. “Our youth livestock participants are the future of animal agriculture as well as many of our future leaders within the ag industry.”
Last year, the North Carolina Farm Bureau supported the efforts of the young participants by purchasing close to $90,000 worth of champion and runner-up livestock. N.C. Farm Bureau’s winning auction bids included the grand champion barrow and the grand champion turkey, among others.
Learn more about North Carolina’s three state fairs here.