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Local Youths Gear Up For Annual AgFest
Shown, nine-year-old Escalon 4-H member Gracie Airola, showing her steer Harold at the recent California Junior Angus Association State Field Day in Turlock at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds. Gracie won first in her market class, and she got Reserve Champion in her Showmanship class. She and Harold will next compete at the AgFest. Photo Contributed

The San Joaquin AgFest Junior Livestock and Auction will take place June 10 through 16 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, poultry, turkeys, 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 San Joaquin AgFest Jr. 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 $7 per car.

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

Some of the highlights are: Livestock Costume Contest, Thursday, June 14, at 5 p.m.; Farm to Fork Dinner (funds raised will be used for awards) on Saturday, June 9 at 5 p.m.; Master Showmanship (the best showman in each category compete for the Championship and represent the county at the State Fair) on Friday, June 15 at 1 p.m.

Livestock Auction of all large and small market animals is scheduled for Saturday, June 16 at 9 a.m., featuring 983 4-H and FFA exhibitors, where 900 large and small market animals will be shown.

AgFest 2018 Special Events:

Monday, June 11, Hay Bucking Contest at 2 p.m. and the Livestock Knowledge Bowl at 3 p.m.

Wednesday, June 13, CattleWomen BBQ 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 14, Livestock Judging 1:30 p.m.; Exhibitor Ice Cream Social 4 p.m.; Livestock Costume Contest 5 p.m.

Friday, June 15, Dairy Pee Wee Showmanship 9 a.m.; Clover Showmanship 10 a.m.; Small Animal Master Showmanship 1 p.m.; Large Animal Master Showmanship 3 p.m.; Awards 5 p.m.; Sponsor/Auction BBQ 6 p.m.; Replacement Heifer Auction 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 16 Livestock Auction 9 a.m.; Mechanic and Wood Project Auction 12 p.m.

Meanwhile, the San Joaquin County Fair runs from Thursday, June 14 through Sunday, June 17 at the fairgrounds, 1658 S. Airport Way, Stockton. Hours are 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with special events each day, rides, games, animals, food, live music, shows and more. Parking is $7. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $4 for kids 6 to 12 and children 5 and under are admitted free. Seniors, military and students with ID pay a $7 admission fee. Unlimited ride wristbands can be purchased for $35. Buy tickets in person at the fairgrounds or online at sanjoaquinfair.com.