JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The 54th Annual Dixie National Junior Roundup kicked off at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson on Thursday.
Members of 4H and Future Farmers of America are showing off their prized livestock in over 10 categories. The ultimate goal, win the coveted title of Grand Champion which will be awarded February 7th.
“There are two different types of competition. First is showmanship, where the judge is looking at how the young person presents the animal to the judge. The second is all about the animal itself,” said Lurlinda Soignier, 4H Agent for Hinds County.
Thursday was all about cattle. Hayes Thornton is one of the competitors.
He says he loves showing his beloved cow, Doc Holiday, but like all relationships, they have their moments.
“You have these days where either he’s not doing good or you’re not doing good," he said "and some days you’re both doing good.”
Caitlin Adams is also competing with two cows, “Sister" and "Wicked.”
This will be her last show in 4H she said, “I’ve been doing this since I was 8. So, this is my last year. Year number 10, makes me upset.”
The 4H and FFA isn’t just about showing animals, it’s about respect, animal care and it’s big responsibility.
“It takes a lot. First you have to break them," Adams said, "You have to get them used to getting washed. You have to work their hair so it looks right. You have to work them with a show stick so they know how to be set up.”
As the day came to an end, Soignier expressed how proud she was, “As you can see these kids put a lot of hard work, time and effort into their animals and they are probably the best stewards of the animals that you will find anywhere.”