By Martha L. Mobley, Franklin County Agricultural Extension Agent
Youth and animals go hand-in-hand. Franklin County’s long tradition of producing outstanding livestock along with many outstanding young people interested in raising and showing animals have prevailed for decades. As a young agent who began my career as an Agricultural Extension Agent in 1988, I have seen my first 4-H’ers from over two decades ago grow up into responsible, law abiding adults and now their children are raising and showing their own animals. They have competed by showing cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs locally as well as national; often marketing their animals after showing them to raise funds for their college education.
This is the fourth year that Cooperative Extension will be having a FUN show for Franklin County youth ages 5 to 18 years old. On Friday, April 1, young people who love animals and who want to demonstrate to a judge their showmanship abilities, will come together at Double D Equestrian Center near Louisburg during the morning to show goats, sheep, cattle, poultry, and rabbits. This experience serves as a stepping stone for larger, more competitive shows such as the 2016 NC State Fair competitions along with teaching responsibility, sportsmanship, and leadership skills. New this year will be a division for special needs youth where an experienced showman will enter the ring with the special needs child at the halter to serve as moral support, and be present if needed to help control the animal. Fun activities such as a bucket painting contest along with face-painting will be held after the show. A poster contest, themed “4-H Grows Here”, will also be required of the youth in order to participate. Each participating child will receive a free t-shirt with a special animal themed design. There is no entry fee for the youth who are exhibiting their own animals or borrowed ones. Are you not a 4-H’er yet? No problem we can get you registered as a 4-H’er to participate in the FUN Show!
Entries are due into the Extension Center in Louisburg by Friday, March 18. Rules and regulations along with the entry form can be found at the Extension’s website, www.franklin.ces.ncsu.edu or www.franklincountyfarmfresh.com. If you have questions, give us a call at 919-496-3344.
Sponsors in addition to the Cooperative Extension are: Do It Center in Bunn, Double D Equestrian Center, CCB Bank in Louisburg, NC Corn Growers Association, and the Franklin County Farm Bureau Board. We look forward to a large group of participating youth again this year; the perfect match: animals and youth!