Annual livestock show and sale draws youth into farming program

Ganados 4-H member Sky Senyohl keeps her hereford at her grandmother’s Enumclaw farm. - Photo courtesy Ganados 4-H
Ganados 4-H member Sky Senyohl keeps her hereford at her grandmother’s Enumclaw farm.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Ganados 4-H

Local Plateau area youth are busy caring for their steers, lambs and hogs to get ready for the upcoming Livestock Show and Sale. The Northwest Junior Livestock Show and Sale is coming up April 16-19 at the Western Washington Fairgrounds in Puyallup.

The Northwest Junior Livestock Show is a 63-year-old tradition for 4-H and FFA kids from the Enumclaw area. This livestock show is for kids from third grade through high school. The kids have been raising their project animals for many months. The Northwest Junior Livestock Show takes place during the Spring Fair in Puyallup. The students spend three days competing with their prize livestock at the fair. On the final day, the market livestock are sold at a live auction.

The Northwest Junior Livestock Show began at the Auburn Stockyards, under the direction of John Ebby. It was moved to Enumclaw in the 1970s, and eventually moved to Puyallup as an attraction for the Spring Fair.

This is a big event for area 4-H and FFA students. It gives kids the chance to learn how to feed and care for their own livestock project animal. The kids learn about nutrition, animal husbandry, how to groom the animal for show and how to compete in the show ring with their own livestock. The final part is to market their 4-H or FFA project at the livestock sale. It is hands-on learning, and a lot of hard work for the kids. Since the early 1990s 4-H and FFA programs have raised more than $1.5 million through this livestock auction.

Two local youth groups, the Ganados 4-H Club and the Enumclaw High School FFA will have 39 students bringing their lambs, steers and hogs to the show.

These hard working kids are looking for buyers for their livestock at the sale that takes place at the Spring Fair.

Buyers can participate in several ways. The first is the outright purchase of an animal for the buyer’s own freezer. By purchasing a hog, lamb or steer they can have it custom cut and wrapped by a local butcher shop and enjoy some local high quality meat throughout the year. Larger animals like hogs and steers, can be cooperatively bought through the South King County Buyers Committee in halves and quarters. The buyers committee can assist you in coordinating with a local butcher shop.

All the livestock is involved in a quality assurance program and is processed by a United States Department of Agriculture-approved facility.

The second method a buyer can support these local kids is through donations to the South King County Buyers Committee. All proceeds go to support the prices to these 39 local kids who are bringing livestock to be sold at the livestock show.

The buyers committee works with interested buyers to make purchases in their behalf.

If you are interested in supporting these local kids, or are interesting in some locally raised locker beef, pork or lamb, please contact John Shine, chairman of South King County Buyers Committee at 253-804-6983.

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