Show Goes On: Youth Livestock Expo Comes To Rockingham
Posted: October 13, 2012
HARRISONBURG — All the facts added up for Kaylee Seekford to enter the realm of livestock showing this year.
First, she likes farm animals. Next, she isn’t involved in sports, so she needed a competitive outlet. And, most important, she has plenty of family supporters.
Now, Kaylee, 13, of Broadway, is in the learning phase of showing, and she’s already well-schooled in one of the more important aspects of presenting goats.
“All goats are different,” she said Friday. “They’re all crazy.”
Kaylee showed her first goat at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds in August, and she returned this weekend with more than 300 other youth from around the state for the Virginia Junior Livestock Expo.
In April, Virginia Cooperative Extension officials announced the plans to bring the show to the fairgrounds just south of Harrisonburg after the State Fair of Virginia in Caroline County announced that it would cease operations.
The agricultural extension agency organizes the contest. All 4-H and FFA members in Virginia are eligible to show market cattle, sheep, swine and goats.
The State Fair eventually did take place in Caroline County this year, yet minus the youth expo, one of its signature events.
The Rockingham County Fairgrounds were one of two sites considered to host the event. The Olde Dominion Agricultural Complex in Pittsylvania County, a new 53,000-square-foot facility, was the other option.
The local site has more than 81,000 square feet of space in five barns plus two show rings. It can also park more than 6,000 vehicles and has on-site camping for exhibitors.
“It’s hands down better facilities than those at the State Fair,” said Jack Harlow, a Covington resident whose son, E.J., 13, shows cattle. “We were tickled to death [the expo came here].”
E.J. has shown cattle for five years and dedicates about three hours a day to it. Learning how to clip the animals, he said, has been the biggest challenge.
According to Christina Hash, 18, of Berryville, the temperament of cattle makes a difference.
“My heifer is really calm,” she said.
The same can go for goats.
“He’s spoiled,” Kaylee said as she petted her animal. “He gets spoiled real easily.”
Contact Preston Knight at 574-6272 or firstname.lastname@example.org