News Release Distributed 02/18/13
GONZALES, La. – Six exceptional Louisiana youths were recognized Saturday (Feb. 16) for their knowledge, skills and communication abilities as they were named winners of the Gerry Lane Premier Exhibitor Award at the 78th annual LSU AgCenter Livestock Show at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center here.
For the past 15 years the premier exhibitor program has recognized 4-H and FFA members who may not have champion animals but who have a thorough understanding of animal science.
“The awards are based on performance in tests of each youth’s knowledge of the livestock industry, practical exercises demonstrating skills and the ability to communicate effectively,” said Dwayne Nunez, LSU AgCenter livestock show manager.
Program participants have to pass an exam, take part in a skill-a-thon, write an essay, prepare a resume and show poise and confidence during an interview with livestock show officials, Nunez said.
The winning youths were among 30 finalists and scores of contestants in the program, which recognizes outstanding livestock exhibitors in six categories – beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry, sheep, goats and swine.
"The premier exhibitor program definitely is about the young people rather than prize-winning animals,” said LSU AgCenter Vice Chancellor Paul Coreil. “It recognizes them for their skills and abilities, as well as their commitment and hard work.”
Through an endowment from Gerry Lane Enterprises of Baton Rouge, the top winner in each premier exhibitor category received a $500 cash award, a commemorative belt buckle and a monogrammed jacket. The other four finalists in each category were awarded trophies.
This year’s top winners in the LSU AgCenter’s Gerry Lane Premier Exhibitor Program are:
– Beef Premier Exhibitor – Abigail Jenkins, St. Tammany 4-H
– Dairy Premier Exhibitor – Brady Brian, East Feliciana 4-H
– Goat Premier Exhibitor – Trent Dugas, Iberia 4‑H
– Poultry Premier Exhibitor – Connor Waits, Vermilion 4‑H
– Sheep Premier Exhibitor – Dustin Rogers, St. Mary 4‑H
– Swine Premier Exhibitor – Emily Chauvin, St. Mary 4-H
Other finalists in this year’s premier exhibitor program, by category and in order of placing, are:
Beef – second – Kealy Stelly, Lafayette 4-H; third – Kirsten Midkiff, Beauregard 4-H; fourth – Kelli Lucas, Rapides 4-H; fifth – Kerrigan Fitch, Iberia 4-H
Dairy – second – Keirstyn Sonnier, Lincoln 4-H; third – Garrett Gardner, East Feliciana 4-H; fourth – Rebecca Pearce, Pointe Coupee 4-H; fifth – Michael Landry, Assumption 4-H
Goats – second –Sarah Lyons, Lafayette 4‑H; third –Sophie Fletcher, Livingston 4‑H; fourth – Ashley Gotreaux, Jeff Davis 4‑H; fifth –Luke Patin, St. Martin 4‑H.
Poultry – second – Tommy Renick, Caddo 4‑H; third – Kalie Beckers, Tangipahoa 4‑H; fourth – Viki-Dawn Landry, Ascension 4‑H; fifth –Jonathan Boudreaux, St. Martin 4‑H.
Sheep – second – Avery Boudreaux, Iberia 4‑H; third – Garrett Ortego, Acadia, 4‑H; fourth – Eden Schexnayder, Ascension 4‑H; fifth – Chance Hebert, Lafourche 4‑H.
Swine – second – Avery Boudreaux, Iberia 4-H; third – Kerrigan Fitch, Iberia 4-H; fourth – David Kershaw, Calcasieu 4-H; fifth – Clint Welch, Cameron 4-HRick Bogren