When exhibitors are preparing for 4-H livestock shows, they often spend the majority of their time working through their feeding and exercise routines and general care for their livestock project. Premier Exhibitor is an additional and optional opportunity available to livestock exhibitors. Some parishes and districts host local contests with rules specific to the contest location, but the remainder of this information will focus on preparing students for the sheep and goat Premier Exhibitor contests held at the LSU AgCenter Livestock Show in February.
The contest is open to exhibitors in 9th through 12th grades and requires pre-entry. The registration form consists of a resume the student fills out that summarizes their livestock work over the past year. Very often, exhibitors do not spend as much time on their resume as they should. However, these forms are part of the overall score and focus on leadership and citizenship work as well as accomplishments within the sheep or goat project area.
In addition to earning a score on the resume, other sections of the contest include a written test, a skillathon, an interview and showmanship. In a skillathon, stations are set up and exhibitors work their way through the stations. Some examples of skillathon stations include feed identification, medicine label application, livestock judging, aging or mouthing, or anatomy identification. These are just examples, so be sure to look for other topics in your project books. Showmanship scores will be taken by class for sheep. Exhibitors will have the option to specify meat, dairy or market showmanship points to be added to their premier exhibitor score.
Interviews are also conducted during this process. During the interviews, judges are looking for exhibitors who can promote animal agriculture and are knowledgeable about their projects. Professionalism and communication skills are some areas of preparation to keep in mind.
Premier Exhibitor is another way for 4-H members to showcase the dedication and knowledge gained through their 4-H projects. If you are looking for more information on the livestock Premier Exhibitor program, check our website: https://www.lsuagcenter.com/portals/our_offices/departments/livestock-show-office/premierexhibitor.
*In the event there are less than 20 total participants, Phases I and II may be combined.