Every year, for one week in early February, youth who raise livestock and participate in the 4-H & FFA livestock programs in Mississippi head to Jackson for the annual Dixie National Junior Round-Up Livestock Shows. These youth bring show entries from their junior livestock projects to compete for champions of their individual categories.
The Dixie National is the showcase for the 4-H & FFA livestock programs and livestock industry; it is also the site of the largest junior market livestock shows in Mississippi. The Champion and Reserve Champion of the Junior Steer Show, Junior Market Lamb Show, Junior Market Swine Show, Junior Market Goat Show, and Overall Champion Mississippi Bred steer, lamb, and hog are singled out for a special tribute at the Dixie National. The exhibitors purchased many of these animals last spring, and these young exhibitors with champions have worked long and hard to raise their outstanding animals.
First, boys and girls exhibit their animals at one of the five district shows within the State. If they receive a blue ribbon on their animal at the district show, they can then participate in the Dixie National. There were over 1,600 market animals at the five district shows and over 1,100 ended up at the Dixie National Junior Round-Up, from which the champions were selected. These champion animals were sold to the highest bidder at the Sale of Junior Champions auction.
On a rainy day in early autumn, hundreds of people packed into the Mississippi State University Joe Bearden Dairy Center to learn where their milk, butter, yogurt, and ice cream come from. (File Photo by Kat Lawrence)
It was inevitable that Lauren Bryant would at least try 4-H.
Her father’s family has been active in the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H Youth Development Program for two generations. And she has attended 4-H events since she was a toddler.
Now, the 11-year-old is showing her own livestock and participating in various 4-H activities through the Extension Service in Tippah County.
“Lauren is a third-generation 4-H’er,” explained her mother, Leigh Bryant. “Her granddad and her daddy were both 4-H’ers.”
RAYMOND, Miss. -- The 4-H Livestock Club in Hinds County has deep roots. And now that history is on display for all to see at the Multi-Purpose Livestock Building on the Hinds Community College campus.
Agents of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Hinds County found hundreds of documents, photos and other memorabilia related to the club when they were moving their office from Jackson to Raymond a few years ago.
“We found two filing cabinets full of things dating back to the club’s beginning in the 1930s,” said Extension agent Theresa Hand. “We didn’t even know one of those cabinets was there.”
Tyler Branch has been showing goats since he was 8 years old, and all his years of hard work really paid off this week.
Mississippi 4-H youth horse instructor Tom McBeath takes great pride in having taught two generations of students, and he is now recognized as one of the best in the country at what he does.