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.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A long-time volunteer with the Mississippi 4-H program is the American Youth Horse Council Adult Leader of the Year.
Tom McBeath of Union, Mississippi, received the honor at the recent American Youth Horse Council symposium in Wakefield, Massachusetts. He has spent nearly four decades working with youth to establish strong foundations for successful experiences with horses.
JACKSON, Miss. -- Before Carson Keene sold his grand champion Duroc hog at the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions, he had a conversation with his family about where the proceeds should go.
The 12-year-old 4-H'er and sixth-grader at Presbyterian Christian School in Petal had known for several months that his 6-year-old schoolmate Noelle Carter was awaiting treatment at Batson Children's Hospital for liver cancer. He decided to donate the auction proceeds to Carter's family.
“Our school was raising money, and I wanted to try to do something, too,” Keene said.
By Jessica Smith
MSU Extension Service
LOUIN, Miss. -- For one Jasper County 4-H member, a junior livestock show career has come full circle.
Lacie Winn, 18, has competed in 4-H livestock shows across the state since 2006. The youth development program is managed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and open to youngsters from 5-18 years of age.
JACKSON, Miss. -- Alex Deason made members of his 4-H livestock judging team a deal they could not resist.
“I told them if any of them could get a hog in the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions, they could shave my head,” said Deason, 4-H agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Sunflower County.
The 4-H’ers took this wager seriously. They not only got one hog in the sale. Team members got four hogs in the sale. And Deason? He has a freshly shaven head.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Young people and adult coaches interested in honing their livestock judging skills have several opportunities at upcoming Mississippi State University camps.
The MSU Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences will hold two residential camps and two half-day camps in May and June.
Participants will judge sheep, meat goats, hogs and beef cattle, and they will learn to develop oral reasoning skills.