North Carolina's Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler is well pleased with the results of the 2012 Junior Livestock Show at the NC State Fair. This year's grand and reserve-grand champions from the junior steer, barrow, lamb, goat and turkey shows netted $89,600 that many exhibitors will use towards their college education. The youngest exhibitor at the auction was Mackenzie Cox of Onlsow County showing the grand champion junior market barrow. At three years old, her pig was many times larger than she was.
“We had the auction of the sale of champions and exhibitors walked away with a total of $89,600 and this will help our young people with college or whatever role they decide to take. They are the future of North Carolina.
The good news is our exhibits were up this year in all of our livestock entries and that is a good sign for the future of the livestock industry in NC. It’s a real joy to see these young people participating in the care of these animals.
The grand champion steer is always a real highlight of the fair. This year the winner was Bill Jones of Buncombe County, he also showed the NC Born and Bred steer. We started that program a few years ago to help improve genetics in North Carolina and it’s getting better and better. The Jones family has really taken this to heart and shown up with great looking cattle.
At three years old, Mackenzie Cox of Onslow County, it was amazing to see her out there with a pig that was bigger than her!
Out meat goat grand champion this year was Hannah Alex… then we also had the meat goat in the Born and Bred category was won by Hailey Elmore of Lenoir County. This year’s lamb champion was Heather Goodrich of Sampson County, who was also the NC born and bred champion.
We did have the grand champion turkey come out of Wake County exhibited by Madison MacFarlane. It goes to show you don’t have to live on a big farm to participate in the livestock aspect of these shows.
We need more people getting interested in agriculture. The average age of a farmer is 58 and we are looking the future of the #1 industry in NC so we need a lot of young people in agriculture.”