The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

March 5, 2013

Preparing future farmers: Junior livestock show official shares event's impact

ENID, Okla. — Jesse Donaldson, beef superintendent for Northwest District Junior Livestock Show, said the job is a labor of love.

Agriculture programs like the ones studied by the show’s exhibitors teach young people a number of important lessons in life.

“It’s one of the greatest experiences for a young person,” Donaldson said.

He said showing livestock teaches youths responsibility, cooperation, time management and that they must care for their animals, no matter what day it is. On Christmas Day, before they open presents or eat breakfast, they take care of their animals.

“They are producing for American consumers, and the animals must be cared for,” Donaldson said.

Donaldson got involved with NWDJLS after being asked to judge the beef show in 2001. He then began serving on the beef committee and succeeded Phil Berkenbile as beef superintendent.

“It’s a labor of love,” he said.

Another thing the kids learn is that in life, they must give to others, even if it’s an animal. Donaldson said they develop a special bond with the animal, but understand they are raising a good, wholesome product they will sell to the public.

The 79th edition of Northwest Junior Livestock Show starts today at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center.

Rynn Day, of the Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce, said there are 881 exhibitors showing 2,020 entries.

“Sometimes they don’t all show up, but there will be at least 2,000, including all categories,” Day said. “Some put in multiple animals, and the exhibitors are the students who actually show the animals.”

Although this is the first year for Day to be involved with the show, she said many of the committee superintendents have been doing it for many years. Day said the livestock show is good for Enid.

“The chamber has sponsored the event for a long time. It basically raises a lot of money for the kids,” Day said.

Show sponsors said the show enhances the relationship between the agricultural, industrial and retail sectors in Enid’s business community. The exhibitors represent more than 55 schools in the Enid area. Participants come from Alfalfa, Blaine, Garfield, Grant, Kay, Kingfisher, Logan, Major and Noble counties.

The sheep show is Wednesday. The goat show will be Thursday, and the cattle show is Friday. The swine show begins Saturday and concludes Sunday. The premium sale is Monday. Last year’s premium sale garnered $121,000.

Ashley Ewbanks is superintendent of the livestock show, and Tommy Wilkerson is assistant superintendent. Division superintendents are Don Roberts goats; Doug Jackson, sheep;  Jesse Donaldson, beef; and Danny Lamar, swine.

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