For four decades, the Anderson County Youth Livestock Association has provided a place where area youth could show their livestock animals to raise money to further their education.
Though the location has changed over the years from the Anderson County Fairgrounds to eventually the Anderson County Youth Livestock Expo Center, the mission has remained the same: to provide scholarships to Anderson County youth while providing a place for the youth to have a livestock show and rodeo and other functions that involve local kids.
The 40th annual Anderson County Youth Livestock Show, set to kick off Monday, is no exception.
“We're giving out $46,000 worth of scholarships this year which I believe is a record,” ACYLA Facilities Director Susie Bennett told the Herald-Press Friday. “That includes the ACYLA Crawfish Boil Scholarship Fund, Boston Porter Memorial Scholarship Fund, ACYLA Show Scholarship Fund and the Jim Bishop Memorial Scholarship.”
More than 100 local youth from area schools and 4-H clubs will participate in this year's livestock show — showing off their animal projects ranging from broilers, rabbits, breeding gilt, market swine, goats, lambs, heifers and steers.
Schools participating include Palestine, Westwood, Elkhart, Slocum, Cayuga, Neches and Frankston. Local 4-H clubs participating include Cayuga 4-H, Old Cayuga 4-H, Elkhart 4-H, Dogwood 4-H, Frankston 4-H, Harmony Broyles-Chapel 4-H and Ioni Creek 4-H.
“The competition is fierce,” Bennett said. “Some of these kids come out here year after year and they get hooked and they want to keep it up.”
Judging will be held Monday through Wednesday with the buyers barbecue and premium auction set for Thursday.
“We want to encourage everybody to come out for the livestock show and support these kids. They will be showing animals each day at different times. Come out and watch the rabbit show if you like rabbits, or if you are interested in lambs, come watch that show,” Bennett said as she discussed the different events. “We have a good concession stand too.”