Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions 2019

Four girls wearing cowboy hats and sashes at the 2019 Sale of Champions.

Photo Essay by Michaela Parker

February is a busy month for 4-H’ers involved in the livestock program. Their goal is to present their animals at the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions, where only the best of the best animals are exhibited. To make it to the sale, animals must be crowned a champion of the Junior Round-Up. Over the course of a week, 2,263 head of livestock were exhibited by 1,635 competitors. This year, 45 champion market animals advanced to the Sale of Junior Champions.

That one moment in the ring with their animal is what so many 4-H’ers work toward. The countless hours spent caring and tending for the animal has paid off. The exhibitors carefully lead their animals through the ring as auctioneers yell bids as the audience of buyers makes offers. For the 50th anniversary of the sale, the record-breaking total amount earned was $382,775. While the animals in the sale are impressive, the 4-H’ers are even more astounding. Behind every animal was a young person who gave up time to make sure the animal was properly reared, trained, and maintained. Whether the animal made it to the Sale of Junior Champions or only competed in Junior Round-up, the dedication and hard work of the 4-H’ers should be applauded.

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