Best in the barnyard: Lone Grove FFA students show their animals

Drew Butler
The next generation of FFA practice showing pigs at the Lone Grove Local Agricultural Show Saturday night. Though not official contestants, the peewee showmanship category was a crowd favorite.

Lone Grove FFA Students got an early start to National FFA Week on Saturday night when Lone Grove hosted its own local show. During the event children from the ages of nine to 18 showed a variety of livestock including cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. In addition to the official categories, there was also a special peewee showmanship round that allowed children too young to officially compete to try their hand at showing pigs .

All the animals in the show were raised by the students themselves, and these types of events give the children the opportunity to display their hard work. Lone Grove Agricultural Educator Bethany Reiterman said two major shows are coming up in the next few weeks and participating in the local show gives them one more opportunity to prepare.

“We’ve got the Carter County Junior Livestock show coming up the first week of March and then the Oklahoma Youth Expo the week after that, so this is basically a big practice show for our kids,” Reiterman said. “They get to come out, prepare their animals, and get the whole experience without the pressure that comes with a major show.”

While the shows in March may be the major events of the year, Reiterman said students first begin showing their livestock before Christmas at jackpot shows.

“Jackpot season usually starts around the beginning of December,” Reiterman said. “From then on we’re hitting the ground running almost every weekend at different jackpot shows. This time of year is when everything comes to a head and things can start to get a little hectic.”

To underscore Reiterman’s point, the upcoming week will indeed be busy for Lone Grove FFA. At 4:30 p.m. on Monday the students will be participating in the Ag Olympics at the Lone Grove Ag Barn. At 9 a.m. on Tuesday they will be hosting the Ring of Gold Special Needs Livestock Show. Wednesday will be a chapter cookout for all Lone Grove FFA members. Thursday they will be hosting a Stamp Out Starvation event at the Lone Grove Cafeteria at 5 p.m. with other local FFA chapters to package food for Haiti. And, finally, on Friday they will be putting together a teacher’s luncheon.