(01/12/23) GONZALES, La. — Louisiana youth from Ruston to Raceland and everywhere in between will gather in February for the 88th annual LSU AgCenter Livestock Show at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales.
AgCenter officials expect more than 2,000 4-H and FFA exhibitors to bring thousands of animals for competition during the week of Feb. 11 to 18.
Livestock show manager Dwayne Nunez said participating in events like the state livestock show — as well as district shows held throughout the state — means more than just awards and accolades for the winners.
“Being a livestock exhibitor myself many years ago and understanding the countless hours spent caring for 4-H and FFA livestock projects, I have a great appreciation for the educational benefit of the program,” he said. “Exhibitors gain knowledge in animal husbandry that includes selection, genetics, nutrition, health, fitting, showing, economics and marketing.”
Nunez went on to say that competitions like these allow youth to also develop life skills such as communication, leadership, cooperation, discipline, responsibility and financial management.
“All of these skills and knowledge learned are combined and expanded upon when these exhibitors and families take part in our LSU AgCenter Livestock Show,” he said. “It is truly an event to showcase the progress of 4-H and FFA programming.”
Judges at the show determine the winners in various breeds of beef and dairy cattle, goats, swine, poultry and sheep. Tara Smith, interim director of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, said the state livestock show is one of the jewels in the crown of Louisiana 4-H.
“Livestock continues to be one of our signature 4-H projects in the state,” she said. “The state livestock show is the culmination of much hard work and discipline and an opportunity for our youth to showcase their projects and to be recognized for their successes.”
Sponsors for the event include the Gerry Lane family, which supports the Gerry Lane Premier Exhibitor Awards; the Price LeBlanc family, Champion Market Animal Awards; the Meraux Foundation, Supreme Champion Animal Awards; and Nutrien, Champion Showmanship Awards.
Platinum sponsors include First South Farm Credit, Sunshine Quality Solutions and Mosaic.
Nunez said special thanks and congratulations should be given to all exhibitors, parents, leaders, agents, ag teachers, sponsors and volunteers who support the 4-H and FFA livestock programs.
“Each of them can take great pride in being involved in one of the most beneficial and wholesome educational efforts available to young people,” he said.
The full slate of events for the 2023 LSU AgCenter Livestock show is available at https://bit.ly/LivestockShowEvents.
A participant in the 2022 LSU AgCenter Livestock Show shows cattle. The 2023 statewide competition will be held at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales Feb. 11 to 18. LSU AgCenter file photo