(01/29/21) At the LSU AgCenter, this time of year is livestock show season — the culmination of months of hard work for 4-H and FFA members who have been busy preparing their animals and themselves for their big moment in the show ring.
Parish and district shows are underway across Louisiana, leading up to the statewide LSU AgCenter Livestock Show set for Feb. 12 to 20 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. Things may look a little different this year because of coronavirus-related restrictions, but there is still plenty of excitement in the air.
“The livestock exhibitors have been working with these projects all year long, and the livestock show is where the exhibitors get to come and show off that hard work,” said Camille Brady, an AgCenter 4-H agent in Ascension Parish. “That’s really the rewarding part of all of this, is getting to see the kids in action and really working together and accomplishing things.”
Regardless of whether they show poultry, swine, goats, sheep or cattle, exhibitors have to spend a lot of time with their animals to get ready for show season. Animals must be fed, groomed and walked regularly.
“It teaches them about work ethic and responsibility,” Brady said.
One of Brady’s favorite parts of livestock shows is seeing participants from different schools, communities and walks of life come together.
“When you walk through the show barn, you see exhibitors helping other exhibitors with their livestock project — giving them tips, being a mentor,” she said.
Brady, who grew up showing cattle and swine, knows these benefits firsthand. The friendships she formed and the lessons she learned at shows had a big impact on her.
“It has really helped me to get to where I am,” she said.
Contestants exhibit dairy cattle during the LSU AgCenter Livestock Show on Feb. 10, 2019. Photo by Olivia McClure/LSU AgCenter
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture