FFA students compete in poultry judging contest

Following is a guest post from Marisa Linton. Marisa grew up showing and raising livestock, and currently lives on her family’s small farm in Mount Olive. She has shown animals at the N.C. State Fair for the past 14 years and is a past youth livestock scholarship recipient. She is an N.C. State University graduate, agricultural photographer and blogger. Last month at the Kerr Scott Building, more than 300 youth representing 81 schools flocked to the State FFA Poultry Judging Career Development Event. This event helps provide youth with skills and opportunities that relate to the poultry industry. North Carolina…

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A rookie at the Sale of Champions

Before covering the junior livestock Sale of Champions this year, I had never been to a livestock auction. I knew that the Sale of Champions was the auction of junior livestock grand and reserve grand champion steer, barrows, lambs, goats and turkeys. Beyond that, I didn’t know what to expect. Inside the Jim Graham Building, it took me a few seconds to acclimate to the sounds and smells of the animals, as bleating goats and mooing cows are not something I hear very often. The show ring was set up nicely for the auction, with a small seating area reserved for N.C….

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Today’s Sale of Champions is the result of hard work and dedication

Each year, youth from across North Carolina bring their best livestock to the fair with hopes of taking home the grand prize. To get to that point, though, kids work countless hours at home preparing the animals for the show ring. Getting livestock ready to show is a little like an athlete training for competition, with junior competitors having to serve as groomer, nutritionist, exercise trainer, genetic selector and more to raise the animal to its highest potential. It is hard work preparing livestock for a show, and it is even harder getting these market animals to the standards of…

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Icon retiring from State Fair livestock shows

Bruce Shankle, whose career in livestock marketing spans 40 years, is retiring as livestock marketing director with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and as director of the N.C. State Fair livestock shows. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, who refers to Shankle as an icon in North Carolina’s livestock industry, keeps trying to talk him out of retiring, but so far his pleas haven’t worked. Shankle grew up on a livestock farm in Anson County, but didn’t get his first taste of State Fair livestock shows until he was a freshman at N.C. State University. On Oct. 15, he…

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