The 2009 Bee County Junior Livestock and Homemakers Show is drawing to close at the Bee County Exposition Center, following today’s awards presentation at noon and luncheon.
Then at 2 p.m. comes that special event that many residents, young and old alike, eagerly look forward to each year — when grand champion, reserve champion and other top placing animals, arts and crafts, food and clothing go on sale to the highest bidder at the auction.
Albert Bridge, president of the Bee County Junior Livestock & Homemakers Show board of directors, said the number of animals entered in the contest this year is slightly less than last year.
“There’s probably about five or six pens difference in each (category such as pigs and chickens),” he said, adding that more lambs were entered this year than last.
Although the numbers may be down slightly, “The quality is there,” Bridge said. “You can walk through the (show barn) and see the quality, see the hard work the kids put in on these animals.”
The same could be said of the Homemakers Show, in which 600 students from across Bee County entered food, clothing and arts and crafts projects.
“This year the entries are less than last year’s but the quality is so much better,” said Rhonda Bloemer, Homemakers Show superintendent. “Even the judges commented that the quality of the projects this year is better than it has been in the past.”
Junior show board members, officials, entrants and their families are hoping that one arena that will not be down this year, in this depressed national economy, is the number of company owners and representatives, as well as civic-minded individuals, who regularly attend to place bids on the youths’ entries.
They encourage the public to come out to the show to purchase some of the winning entries, join other buyers to form groups and give to the premium fund, Bids for Kids and other opportunities to benefit these enterprising youths of this county.
As Bridge noted, “They’re learning life lessons — lessons that they will use throughout the remainder of their lives, like working hard has its rewards. They also learn teamwork. They learn about dedication and commitment, because they have to really commit themselves to a project if they want their (project) to win.”
What’s more, the kids also learn the value of a dollar, he said.
That’s a lesson that has evaded many in this great land — from executives in Wall Street’s major corporations to the highest ranking politicians in the nation’s capital.