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Panhandle Youth Expo held in Marianna

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 8:46 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Students have spent months preparing their livestock for the Panhandle Youth Expo in Marianna. Kids ages 8 to 18 from across Florida, Georgia, and Alabama are all able to enter the Panhandle Youth Expo to show their cows, pigs or goats. Younger kids, 5 and older, are able to enter to show chickens or rabbits.

On Thursday, those showing pigs were able to get some tips from one of their own before the show.

“I’ve been doing this for 10 years and a lot of these people are new, so I was giving them some tips on showmanship, and what they can work on, and what will help them do better,” contestant Asa Anderson said.

The kids are eager to compete this weekend, and in the future.

“It’s gonna be my first year, and it’s gonna be fun,” 11-year-old contestant Brantley Basford said. “Pigs are cool animals.”

However, many of the contestants say it has been hard work to get to this point.

“It’s a lot of responsibility of taking care of a pig, and washing it, and clipping it, and finally getting to the finish line which is showing it, then going to the market,” Marianna High School contestant Madelyn Stoutamire said.

“You have to spend time with them or they just won’t cooperate with you,” contestant Hunter Smith added. “So, you know, it’s whoever spends the most time with the animal and the animal cooperates is going to be the winner here.”

According to 4-H Youth Development Director Caroline Chappell, hard work and learning are what this program is all about.

“Really this project is about helping them learn record keeping skills and financial management skills, and so they’ve got to purchase the pig, pay for all of the things that they need to go through with this project,” Chappell said.

The Panhandle Youth Expo is being held at the Jackson County Ag Center from Thursday, Oct. 14, to Saturday, Oct. 16. For more information, click here.

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