Blue ribbon learning at 4-H livestock presentation

Sep. 13, 2013 @ 08:27 PM

OXFORD — The Granville County Convention and Expo Center was abounding with young people and animals on Friday, as the N.C. Cooperative Extension held a Four-county 4-H Livestock Show.

The show was sponsored by the extension offices of Vance, Granville, Warren and Franklin counties.

Animals outnumbered the youths 75 to 32. Franklin County 4-H was represented by 16 youth, Warren by six, and Vance and Granville by five each.

The young people showed goats, sheep and beef heifers. There was showmanship competition for each breed. Other subcategories were based on the age of the youth and age of the animal, providing a total of 22 categories of competition.

Many of the youth showed animals in more than one category.

Staff from the four county extension offices as well as volunteers kept youth and animals moving in and out of the arena at a brisk place. Paul Westfall, Granville County extension director, said things ran “pretty smoothly.”

The big winner was Joey Moore of Franklin County, who won nine ribbons, including three first places, two second places, three third places and one fourth place. He’s a veteran of livestock shows, having competed and won ribbons for the past seven years or more.

Lauren Edwards of Vance County was second, with six ribbons. She had two first places, two second places and two third places. Edwards, 16, of Gillburg, said she has been doing this for 10 years.

In contrast, this was the first show for Ashton Murphy of Vance County, who won two fourth-place ribbons on her first try.

She said, “It’s a lot of work. You have to keep your animal healthy.” But she added, “It’s also fun. You get to spend time with your animal.”

Jake Moore of Franklin County won two second places and three third places.

Others winning two first-place ribbons were Taylor Farley, Jacob Noe, Madison Pippin, Colton Steffensen and Lacie Steffensen.

Winning a single first-place ribbon were Bailee Barker, Maggie Dickerson, Ryan Farrell, Abigail Graham, Jamie McAuslan, Brody Steffensen and Emilee Willis.

Other second-place winners were Samuel Dickerson (two), Alayna Gallagher (two), Sage Moore, Ian Nemitz, Weslyn Pendergraft, Pippin, Farrell, Graham and Noe.

Other third-place winners were Emilee Garriss, Matthew Graham, Megan Dickerson and Sage Moore.

Others taking fourth-place ribbons included Tiffany Steffensen, Sage Moore, Brody Steffensen, Colton Steffensen, Barker, Pippin and Willis.

The show was the climax of months in which the young exhibitors raised and cared for their animals.

Showmanship entries were judged on cleanliness of the animal and neatness of the youth exhibitor. The youth were also judged on their ability to handle their animals, courtesy toward other exhibitors, attentiveness to the judges and knowledge of their animals.

The 4-H livestock projects are designed to teach young people a number of life skills. Learning about nutrition, prevention of disease and proper care of animals requires them to master a great deal of knowledge of science.

They practice public speaking skills as they answer judges’ questions while they are showing their animals.

By keeping records on income and expenditures, on vaccine and worming schedules and other data, they learn the importance of good record keeping.

Interacting with other youth during the livestock competitions, they learn good sportsmanship and leadership.

Youth winners received cash, trophies, medals and other gifts as awards. Cash awards ranged in value from $5 to $30.

Granville County Commissioner Ed Mims visited the show briefly, saying he was on his way to a meeting at the health department.

“This is different from what we hear about young people so often,” he said. “Here the kids are taking responsibility. We need to make this grow.”


Contact the writer at