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2023 Youth Livestock Show & Sale

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The 2023 Johnston County Youth Livestock Show & Sale is set for April 3-5 at the Johnston County Livestock Arena- 520 County Home Rd, Smithfield.

Click here for the online registration form.

The Show & Sale is open to all youth ages 5 (as of January 1 of the show year) through high school who are enrolled in Johnston County schools or whose primary residence is in Johnston County. Regardless of prior or current membership, all participants must enroll in 4-H Online after January 1 in order to participate.

It’s not just another show, it’s a project! Market animals are verified in care of the exhibitors and tagged with an official show tag (unless previously tagged with a “Got to be NC” tag) months before the show. At the conclusion of the show, a record book must be completed and thank-you notes must be submitted for your buyers before you will receive your Show & Sale proceeds. The entire process from start to finish makes a great project for 4-H members and a great Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) for FFA members. We bring in nationally-recognized judges to evaluate the animals and showmanship and create a positive learning experience. Seniors in the program have the opportunity to apply for scholarships. The program has awarded $49,000 in scholarships over the last ten years!

-But I don’t want to sell my animal. Great! You don’t have to, necessarily. The sale is two-fold; the first part is an actual auction of market animals (for those who do wish to physically sell their animal.) The second part is a “mock” sale, or support auction, that all market animal exhibitors participate in, whether or not they keep or sell their project animal.

How does the sale work? You, the exhibitor, can invite relatives and businesses to support your project. Many individuals and businesses recognize the importance of youth being involved in livestock projects and wish to support them. It is recommended to visit or write letters to potential supporters, telling them about your project, inviting them to the Show & Sale, and inviting them to support you personally. These “bids” or “pledges” of support are reported on your Buyer Form and turned in when you check in at the Show. On the night of the sale, when you enter the ring with your animal, the auctioneer’s bid will automatically go to the total on your Buyer Form, unless someone present wants to bid more. Then, while you are still in the ring, those at ringside may present “add-ons” or any amount. The total of all bids and add-ons is your sponsor price on your animal. Once you’ve turned in your record book and “thank-you” notes, and all your buyers have paid, the Youth Livestock program will send you one check for the total of your sponsor price, packer price (if applicable) and deduct any check-off funds or tag fees.