McMullen County youths, animals shine at 79th junior livestock show

A trio of McMullen County girls gather outside a pen holding pigs during the McMullen County Junior Livestock Show on Jan. 24 in Tilden.

TILDEN – The 79th edition of the McMullen County Junior Livestock Show, sponsored by the Tilden Livestock Scholarship Association, resulted in more than 100 youths showing and selling animals after long hours caring for them.

Scott McClaugherty, president of the association, has a long connection to the livestock show. His family moved to Tilden in 1960, and Scott grew up showing lambs and steers.

Today, his daughter, Caroline, is continuing the tradition.

“We have a little over 100 kids participating, and we are excited to give them this opportunity here in McMullen County,” Scott said.

“One of the things that is unique about our show is that every kid gets a chance to sell their animals.”

While parents and community members offer plenty of support and work hard behind the scenes, the spotlight during the show falls on the students.

“It’s really about the kids,” Scott said. “This is a chance to help them. I really enjoy seeing them mature every year and grow in their knowledge of livestock.”

Community support makes all the difference in putting on a successful show, he said.

“None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for the tight-knit community,” Scott said. “This is a locally supported program and a lot of citizens step up and support us in so many different ways.”

One of those who has shown continued dedication to the junior livestock show is Leo Quintanilla, whom the show was dedicated to for 2020, Scott said.

“He is a longtime supporter and helps with everything from making improvements to providing financial support. He has really stepped up and supported us year after year.”

Cayden Davis, a sophomore at McMullen County High School, has been showing goats since third grade, and this year, he was helping his brother Mason Villalobos, a third-grader, participate in his first show.

Kamree David, a seventh grader at McMullen County Junior High, was showing a pig — the first animal she said she had shown at the event.

Anja Milojevic, a junior at MCHS and an exchange student from Serbia, had a lamb that won the showmanship award. She is in McMullen County this school year as part of the Future Leaders Exchange, of FLEX program.

Showing animals is a family tradition for the Sherrer family, and Makenzie, a MCHS sophomore, was showing a steer for the second year. Before that, she showed chickens and pigs.

During Saturday festivities, the Little Britches Show, the Parade of Champions and, of course, the sale provided excitement for this attending the show.

“We’re really glad to be able to do this for the kids here in McMullen County,” Scott said. “It’s a great opportunity to do something good for them.”

Judging from the number of people who attended and the continued support, it is evident that the show will continue to go on for many more years.

Jeff Osborne is the editor of The Progress. He can be reached at 361-786-3022 or theprogress@mysoutex.com.