The only thing brighter than the sun was the smile on the 4-H'ers faces as they competed for top honors at the St. James Parish Junior Livestock show held at the Lutcher Cow Palace on a beautiful, warm, sunshine filled January 26th. The Lutcher Cow Palace, located on Lutcher High School's campus, was the fitting place for all the outstanding exhibitors and hundreds of supporters from around St. James Parish.
Livestock judge, Tyler Musselwhite, took the exhibitors and animals through the judging of over 130 animals in goat, lamb, beef and swine classes, while Rene Schmit, St. Charles Parish County Agent, judged the 30 rabbits.
The intense competition led the exhibitors to work very hard to gain top honors at the show. Top placing exhibitors received belt buckles, rosettes and ribbons. Also many animals were purchased by local business and industry. Belt buckle sponsors were: Parish President Timmy Roussel, the Craig Poche family, Bordelon Pest Control (David Duhon), Lafarge Congrete, Taylor's Express (Taylor Matherne), Veron's Supermarket (Greg Veron), GreenPoint Ag (Neal Poche & Ryan Waguespack) and Subway of Gramercy (Brian Bourgeois). Cash prizes for showmanship winners were supplied by East St. James Farm Bureau, represented by Gene Martin, Sr. Premiums for champion animals and class winners, as well as shavings for bedding animals and a t-shirt, were supplied by our overall corporate sponsor MOSAIC, represented by Jennifer Grigsby. Other sponsors of premiums and ribbons and rosettes were: T. Baker Smith, LLC (Dennis Hymel, Jr.) Jason Amato, District 2 Councilman, Kermit Coulon, Retired District Agent-Cane Belt Area, Marty Louviere with Louviere Pig Farm, NUCOR Steel Louisiana, NORANDA Alumina and Clyde Gravois, Jr. with Gravois Swine Farm. The Lutcher Gramercy Lions Club sponsored the Champion Rabbit exhibits.
Exhibiting the Champion Angus Female and over Champion Beef Female was Lee Hymel. The Reserve Champion Beef Female and Overall Reserve Beef Female were also exhibited by Lee Hymel a 4-H Member at Large. Champion Angus Bull and Champion Overall Beef Male were exhibited by Lee Gravois a 4-H Member at Large. The Reserve Champion Beef Male and Overall Reserve Champion Beef Male were exhibited by Clay Steib a St. James High 4-H Member. Marie Matirne exhibited the Champion Red Brahman. Marie is a 4-H Member at Large.
Graduating Senior Exhibitors were also recognized. Seniors are Austin Hymel, Jaci Gravois, Paige Gravois, Kaitlin Beier, Stevi McClung - Lutcher High School 4-H Members; Clay Steib, John Boughton, Christian Scioneaux - St. James High 4-H Members and Mason Matirne a 4-H Member at Large were all awarded their Senior Livestock Jackets.
The Awards & Sponsor Appreciation Luncheon was held on January 27th at the Lutcher High School cafeteria. Presenting the Mr. and Mrs. S.E. Wood Memorial Scholarship was Tammy Matirne. Receiving the $500 scholarship was Emma Waguespack, daughter of Craig and Donna Waguespack of Lutcher; she is a graduate of Lutcher High School and studying Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in nutrition at Southeastern Louisiana University.
The Christie M. Melancon Memorial Scholarship was presented by Michelle Lambert, Christie's big sister. The scholarship was awarded to Jaci Gravois, daughter of Clyde and Tanya Gravois of Paulina. Jaci is a senior at Lutcher High School and will be attending Louisiana State University in the fall. Mason Matirne, son of Keith and Tammy Matirne of Welcome, also received the scholarship. Mason is a senior at Ascension Catholic High School and will be attending McNeese State University in the fall.
A special Service Award was presented by the Livestock Exhibitors and Parents' group to Mr. Gene Martin, Sr. "Geno" was recognized for his many contributions to the Livestock program in St. James Parish for many years. Presenting the award was a group of Livestock Committee members and officers. Grant Martin, brother of the honoree spoke about Gene's contributions. Geno's wife, Belinda, and family, including his mother Mrs. Bridget Martin, all joined him for this great honor.
The St. James Parish Jr. Livestock Show is one of the many programs offered by the LSU AgCenter here in St. James Parish. The parents, 4-H'ers and FFA Club members along with the LSU AgCenter's Cooperative Extension Service would like to thank all who have contributed to the success of the 4-H Livestock Program; especially Kenneth Guidry, County Agent (4-H), the St. James Livestock Show and Sales Committee, St. James Livestock Committee and Parents' Group, Dr. Alonzo Luce, St. James Parish Schools Superintendent; and the St. James Parish School Board, Charles Nailor, President and George Nassar, Vice President; The St. James Parish Council and Mr. Timmy Roussel, Parish President; St. James FFA Chapter- Felix Landry and Lane Beard; Extension Service staff-Al Orgeron and Mollie Arceneaux.
From the parish show exhibitors will be going on to the Southeast District Show in Covington, then to the State Show at LAMAR Dixon in Gonzales.