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Area FFA, 4-H Members Ready For 2019 AgFest

The San Joaquin AgFest Junior Livestock Show and Auction will take place June 9 through 15 at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds. All San Joaquin County 4-H and FFA members with projects in the beef, swine, sheep, goats, dairy, rabbits, cavy and dog areas will compete at the show and auction. Members who have vocational projects such as welding, wood, plants and vegetables will also exhibit their projects during the seven-day show.

The biggest difference from past years is the lack of all feathered animal shows. Because of the recent confirmation by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, of a chicken in Northern California with Virulent Newcastle Disease, AgFest cancelled all poultry-related exhibits for the 2019 show. Many of these exhibitors were able to switch to another species like rabbits or goats. So, there will be twice as many rabbits and 40 more goats entered in this year’s AgFest. Also added was an educational poultry poster contest with cash prizes so poultry exhibitors can highlight their expertise in chickens and turkeys.

The San Joaquin AgFest Junior Livestock Show and Auction replaces the San Joaquin County Fair’s livestock show and auction. In 2013, the San Joaquin County Fair decided that they could not financially put on a fair. So, the parents, leaders and advisors organized a non-profit organization and created AgFest so youth members had a place to show their livestock and vocational projects.

All of the exhibitors learn to custom feed and humanely raise their large or small livestock projects. During the show, all the animals are judged by qualified industry professionals to be determined market ready. Many of the members who raise animals will use the profit for college and trade school education in the future. Some of the members started with one animal and began a breeding program. By the end of their 4-H or FFA career they will have a herd of animals or a flock of birds and possibly a small business.

Admission is free daily before 10 a.m. and parking is $10 per car.

The junior show and auction has a website, with a list of daily events and livestock shows.

Some of the highlights are:

Livestock Costume Contest Thursday, June 13, at 5 p.m.

Farm to Fork Dinner (funds raised will be used for awards) Saturday, June 8 at 5 p.m.

Master Showmanship (the best showman in each category compete for the Championship and represent the county at the State Fair) Friday, June 14 at 1 p.m.

Livestock Auction of all large and small market animals Saturday, June 15 at 9 a.m.

There are scheduled to be 963 4-H and FFA exhibitors with a total of 1,334 large and small market animals to be shown.