By Cheril Vernon

Messenger Copy Editor

PALESTINE – Area 4-H and FFA members exhibited their show animals during the Anderson County Youth Livestock Show this week at the Anderson County Youth Livestock Expo Center.

The week concluded with the buyers’ barbecue and premium auction sale on Thursday night. Last year’s show brought in more than $305,000 which included not only livestock projects but FFA show projects such as flat-bed trailers and barbecue pits.

“We have about 400 entries this year,” ACYLA long-time board member Susie Bennett told the Messenger, noting that some kids have multiple entries and only a certain number of each kind of livestock makes the sale.

FFA members from Palestine, Westwood, Elkhart, Slocum, Neches, Cayuga and Frankston  participated in the show, as well as members from several Anderson County 4-H Clubs, including: Cayuga 4-H, Ioni Creek 4-H, Elkhart 4-H, Old Cayuga 4-H and Harmony Broyles Chapel 4-H.

Anderson County 4-H Extension Agent Preston Sturdivant said the livestock show is the culminating event for the local youth who have been caring for an animal.

“It gives them a chance to showcase that hard work that they have put into it – the time, the effort and the financial resources,” Sturdivant said. “It also gives them opportunity to get some scholarship money. That’s one of the big reasons we do this. We support the kids and they earn some scholarship money.”

For many of the FFA and 4-H members, raising an animal and showing it at the livestock show can lead to scholarships to help further their education.

“Last year, we gave away more than $55,000 in scholarships on sale night,” Bennett told the Messenger in an earlier interview. “This year we should be giving away at least that much or maybe more.”

Here is a list of grand and reserve champions and showmanship in each category:

• Market Steer – J.B. Alexander of Cayuga FFA, grand champion and senior showmanship; Haley Barnett of Cayuga FFA, reserve champion; Eli Grabiel of Ioni Creek 4-H, junior showmanship.

• Heifers – Non-Registered – Kamden Wade of Neches FFA, grand champion; Eli Grabiel of Ioni Creek 4-H, reserve grand champion.

• Heifers – Registered – Haley Barnett of Cayuga FFA, grand champion and senior showmanship; Jeb Chapin of Ioni Creek 4-H, reserve grand champion; Eli Grabiel of Ioni Creek 4-H, junior showmanship.

• Commercial Heifers (Junior) – Cooper Fitzgerald of Old Cayuga 4-H, grand champion; Hallie Armour of Harmony-Broyles Chapel 4-H, reserve grand champion.

• Commercial Heifers (Senior) – Morgan Turner of Cayuga FFA, grand champion; Katie Timmons of Neches FFA, reserve grand champion.

• Market Swine – Scott Black of Elkhart 4-H, grand champion; Clayton Conrad of Cayuga 4-H, reserve grand champion; Korbyn Bassett of Westwood FFA, senior showmanship; Emma Reynolds of Cayuga 4-H, junior showmanship.

• Breeding Swine – Ben Winkel of Cayuga 4-H, grand champion; Hallie Armour of Harmony-Broyles Chapel 4-H, reserve grand champion.

• Market Lambs – MaKenzie Hudson of Neches FFA, grand champion; Courtney January of Slocum FFA, reserve grand champion.

• Market Goats – Emily Hill of Neches FFA, grand champion; Raegan Hill of Neches FFA, reserve grand champion; Mary Kate Soucek of Slocum FFA, senior showmanship; Weseton Rogers of Frankston FFA, junior showmanship.

• Breeding Goats – Libby Kessel of Ioni Creek 4-H, grand champion; Jaret Fletcher of Ioni Creek 4-H, reserve grand champion.

• Breeding Rabbits – Heaven Paquette of Ioni Creek 4-H, grand champion senior doe, best of show and reserve grand champion senior doe;  Jaycee Bridges of Ioni Creek 4-H, grand champion junior buck; Mason Brownlow of Neches FFA, reserve grand champion senior buck; Cayden Barton of Ioni Creek 4-H, senior showmanship California buck and junior showmanship California doe.

• Market Rabbits – Hayvan Wendell of Harmony-Broyles Chapel 4-H, grand champion; Olivia Wendell of Harmony-Broyles Chapel 4-H, reserve grand champion.

• Broilers – Alyssa Barnett of Harmony-Broyles Chapel 4-H, grand champion; and Baker Cox of Cayuga FFA, reserve grand champion.

• Projects – Sale – Raeleigh Taylor of Harmony-Broyles Chapel 4-H, grand champion; Elkhart FFA Team No. 2 of Elkhart FFA, reserve grand champion.

• Projects – Non-Sale –  Westwood FFA Team No. 1 of Westwood FFA, grand champion; Neches FFA Team No. 1 of Neches FFA, reserve grand champion.