Teens have royal reign over Southeast District Livestock Show

(01/24/24) BATON ROUGE, La. — When you hear royalty in south Louisiana this time of the year, you may think Mardi Gras, but the Southeast District Livestock Show has a long history of crowning a king and queen. This year Breleigh Page and Jaxon Forrest will reign over the 89th show in Covington on Feb. 1-3.

Each year the show chooses a king and queen based off their achievements in livestock activities, 4-H or FFA leadership, public speaking and personal accomplishments.

Page, of Denham Springs, is a junior at Live Oak High School and said her grandparents encouraged her to show livestock, “since the day I could walk.”

She showed exhibition chickens through elementary, middle and junior high school, expanding to broiler chickens and market goats in high school.

“I absolutely fell in love with the agriculture industry and realized how many people were uneducated about it, so I began to advocate for it, beginning with demonstration days, leading all the way to my very own showmanship workshops and teaching others to do the same,” Page said.

Page is the fourth generation in her family to pursue an ag education and involvement in 4-H and FFA. She serves as the 4-H state secretary and has been involved in the 4-H Food and Fitness Board and the 4-H State Leadership Board. She was also an FFA chapter officer.

Her long-term goal is to get a doctorate like her grandfather and work in livestock feedstuff formulation.

“I want to be the person that all youth showmen trust with their livestock from the farm to the table,” she said.

Forrest is from Kentwood and is a junior at University View Academy. His experience with livestock shows started with chickens in the fourth grade. In fifth grade, in his parents surprised him with a pygmy buck goat to show.

“I won grand champion pygmy buck at the parish and district show,” Forrest said. “I also won grand champion junior poultry showmanship that year.”

Participating in livestock shows and other 4-H activities helped Forrest step out of his comfort zone and overcome shyness.

“When I started 4-H I was a shy kid sitting in the back for my first meeting and did not participate much,” he said. “Then I was encouraged to participate in the livestock shows. This was my first public speaking event.”

His participation in 4-H also included shooting sports, cookery competitions, talent and fashion shows and 4-H University competitions. Forrest serves as president of the state 4-H Stem Board and previously served as that board’s vice president.

He also has participated in numerous community service projects including shopping for foster kids, making port pillows for chemo patients, making thank-you cards and brownies for first responders and sending thank-you cards to veterans.

“If it were not for 4-H, I would not be the person I am today,” he said.

The Southeast District king and queen serve as ambassadors for the livestock show. They each receive a $500 scholarship and a belt buckle.

Parishes included in the Southeast District are Jefferson, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington.

Portrait of Breleigh Page

Breleigh Page is queen of the 2024 Southeast District Livestock Show. Photo provided by Jessie Hoover

Portrait of Jaxon Forrest

Jaxon Forrest is king of the 2024 Southeast District Livestock Show. Photo provided by Jessie Hoover

1/24/2024 3:37:53 PM
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