Louisiana champions named at 84th annual LSU AgCenter Livestock Show
Hundreds of young people from across Louisiana were named state champions during the 84th annual LSU AgCenter Livestock Show held Feb. 9 to 16 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center.
To qualify for the state show, competitors had to first participate in parish and district livestock shows across Louisiana. At the state show, 1,930 youths exhibited 1,874 breeding animals, 1,292 market animals and 1,415 birds, according to the AgCenter Livestock Show manager Dwayne Nunez.
Judges at the LSU AgCenter Livestock Show determined more than 2,000 state champions in various breeds of beef and dairy cattle, goats, hogs, poultry and sheep.
Although the event showcases examples of the state’s important livestock industries, AgCenter administrators say it is much more than that.
“This show is much more about recognizing champion young people than it is about naming champion animals,” said Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture. “Every youngster who participated in this show is a champion because of the dedication, skills and knowledge they’ve demonstrated by caring for their animals.”
The 2019 livestock show was made possible by endowed funding from the Meraux Foundation, Gerry Lane Enterprises and PotashCorp, saidLindsey Kelly, director of alumni relations and stewardship for the AgCenter and LSU College of Agriculture.
Other donors include First South Farm Credit, Sunshine Quality Solutions, Mosaic, Louisiana Land Bank, Zen-Noh Grain Corporation, the Louisiana 4-H Foundation, Louisiana FFA Foundation, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation and Boot Barn, she said.
The Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation endowment supported awards for Supreme Champion animals in all six breeding species — beef cattle, dairy, poultry, sheep, goats and swine. The winners were:
Supreme Champion Beef Bull — Leah Thibodaux, Acadia Parish 4-H.
Supreme Champion Beef Heifer — Leslie Rodriguez, Caddo Parish 4-H.
Supreme Champion Dairy — Callie Faunce, Tangipahoa Parish 4-H.
Supreme Champion Goat Buck — Chloe Ayo, Lafourche Parish 4-H.
Supreme Champion Goat Doe — Chloe Ayo, Lafourche Parish 4-H.
Supreme Champion Dairy Goat Buck — Emily Tucker, Livingston Parish 4-H.
Supreme Champion Dairy Goat Doe — Emmerson Lyons, St. Landry Parish 4-H.
Supreme Champion Sheep Ram — Mackenzie Castro, Assumption Parish 4-H.
Supreme Champion Sheep Ewe — Mackenzie Castro, Assumption Parish 4-H.
Supreme Champion Swine — Patrick Schultz, Acadia Parish 4-H.
Supreme Champion Poultry — Lane Lirette, Lafourche Parish 4-H.
Richardson said the livestock show demonstrates the result of years of hard work on the part of the 4 H and FFA members.
“But we also see the support of parents, teachers, volunteer leaders and others who helped them along the way,” Richardson said.
Six exhibitors earned Premier Exhibitor awards, which place emphasis and recognition on exhibitors’ knowledge and skills in the 4-H and FFA livestock projects. Supported by an endowment from Gerry Lane Enterprises in Baton Rouge, the program is available to participants exhibiting beef, dairy, swine, sheep, poultry and goats. The program tests all facets of youths’ proficiency in their livestock projects through an interview, a resume, a test, a skill demonstration and showing ability.
Caroline Webb, Jefferson Davis Parish 4-H, received the Price LeBlanc Champion Livestock Award for her champion Louisiana-bred market hog. The award is presented to one grand champion market animal each year from among five species — steers, swine, sheep, chickens and goats. The award is funded by an endowment from Price LeBlanc, a Baton Rouge automobile dealership.
The livestock show also includes a quality assurance and ethics certification program that educates youth on proper and ethical use of animal health products ensuring a high-quality, wholesome product.
Organizers say youth livestock projects provide a means for families to come together to participate in quality educational activities. Young people say participating in the program gives them opportunities to make new friends, see old friends and gain valuable experience. And everyone agrees it helps youngsters develop character and hone skills that will benefit them, their families and their communities throughout their lives.
Following is a list of additional winners in various livestock categories and their home parishes and 4-H or FFA affiliation**:
Reserve Champion Bantam Feather Leg — Garrett Lirette, Iberville Parish 4-H.
Champion Standard English — Luke Lirette, Iberville Parish 4-H.
Reserve Standard — Luke Lirette, Iberville Parish 4-H.
Champion Nubian Buck — Garrett Lirette, Iberville Parish 4-H.
Champion Nubian Doe — Luke Lirette, Iberville Parish 4-H.
**Differs from original article, showing only champions from Iberville Parish.