SU Land-Grant Campus holds successful 75th Annual Livestock Show

For 75 years, Southern University has continued the tradition of providing an opportunity for youth throughout Louisiana to gain valuable knowledge and skills at its Annual State Livestock and Poultry Show. The event was held March 1 – 3 at the Maurice A. Edmond Livestock Arena.

“We are excited to celebrate 75 years of holding a livestock show. Southern is the only Historically Black College or University that currently holds a livestock show and we are very proud of that,” said Dawn Mellion-Patin, Ph.D., SU Land-Grant Campus vice chancellor for extension.

To qualify for the state show, competitors had to have won first place at a parish livestock show.
Thirty-nine young people from across the state were named state champions in various breeds of dairy and beef cattle, lamb, goat and poultry during the show.

Southern provides a holistic experience for its participants, the community and college students enrolled in the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences.

“Our participants are learning about every aspect of the livestock industry,” said Patin. “They are responsible for feeding the animal, taking care of the animal and ultimately selling the animal and using the money from the show to purchase another animal and repeat the process over next year.”

Patin also discussed the importance of this 75th anniversary.

St. Joseph mayor and retired Tensas Parish Extension Agent, Elvadus Fields, has travelled with participants to Southern’s Livestock Show for 57 years.

“I think it (SU Livestock Show) aids in the development of responsible womanhood and manhood,” said Fields. “Most of all that child is responsible for that animal. If the animal eats, the child has to feed it. If the animal gets sick, the child has make sure the animal gets well.   The child has to learn how to discipline the animal and be disciplined as well,” said Fields.

Seventeen year-old Destinee Morris is an example of the development that Mayor Fields talked about. The West Feliciana Parish native has been showing steers at the Southern University Livestock Show since she was 11. She said participating in the Livestock Show has helped her learn to enjoy nature.

“In the past I did not like being outside at all, but now I enjoy being around animals and different farm animals and taking care of them,” said Morris.

She credits her sister for peaking her interest in showing steers after seeing pictures of her participating in Southern’s Livestock Show.

This year is Morris’ last year participating in the Livestock Show. The high school senior plans to attend college out of the state in the Fall. For her final show she took home Reserve Champion in the Market Steer Division and placed 3rd in Showmanship.

The Southern University Livestock Show is like no other show in the state. “Our show is unique in the fact that we offer guided school tours that include a petting zoo, gardening station and educational presentations while the participants are showing their animals,” said Harold Mellieon, Ph.D., director of Livestock Show Programs. “The tours provide an opportunity for many youth in the Baton Rouge area to see live farm animals in person for the first time. We also have college students from Southern’s College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences assisting with every part of the show. This gives our college students hands on experience in the field,” he said.

Southern also holds a “Night with the Stars: Old Fashion Livestock Decorating Contest” on every Friday evening after all the animal have been judged.

“We hold this event to give the participants an opportunity to have fun with their animal one last time because the Jr. Auction on Saturday morning,” said Mellieon.

The “Night with the Stars’ winners are:
Kyle and Wyatt Sonnier, both from Calcasieu Parish, dressed as the Cookie Monster with Borden’s milk and a cookie in 1stplace; Brady Hayes from Jefferson Davis Parish, dressed as Elvis & The King in second place and Zabadiah Ates from Union Parish, dressed as St. Patrick’s heifer in 3rd place.

The first, second and third place winners received a $100 and a Ozark Trail 26 Quart High Performance Cooler, $50 and a EndZone Bubba Keg and $25 and a Coleman’s Oversized Quad Chair, respectively.

The following is a list of additional winners in various livestock categories and their home parishes. Each winners received a premium, ribbon, rosette and trophy belt buckle.

Registered Dairy
Grand Champion – Wyatt Sonnier, Calcasieu Parish
Reserve Champion – Kinsley Windom, St. Tammany Parish

Commercial Dairy
Grand Champion – Camille Sonnier, Calcasieu Parish
Reserve Champion – Kyle Sonnier, Calcasieu Parish

Dairy  Showmanship
Grand Champion – Wyatt Sonnier, Calcasieu Parish
Reserve Champion – Kinsley Windom, St. Tammany Parish

Brahman Bull                                                           
Grand Champion – Caplan Young, Winn Parish
Reserve Champion – John Michael Pickett, Winn Parish

Non Brahman Bull                                                   
Champion Non-Brahman – Skylar Primm, Caddo Parish

Brahman Heifers
Champion Brahman – Jesse Sandel, Sabine Parish
Reserve Champ Brahman – John Michael Pickett, Winn Parish

Non Brahman Heifer                                    
Champion Non-Brahman – Hailee Daigle, Ascension Parish
Reserve Champ Non-Brahman – Zabadiah Ates, Union Parish

Commercial Heifer
Grand champion – Ashlyn Natali, Calcasieu Parish
Reserve Champion – Trevor Mclendon, Sabine Parish

Beef Showmanship
Grand Champion – Tanner Browning, Sabine Parish
Reserve Champion – Brenden Ford, Sabine Parish

Market Steer
Grand Champion – Brady Hayes, Jefferson Davis Parish
Reserve Champion – Destinee Morris, West Feliciana Parish

Market Lamb
Grand Champion – Jacob Reyenga, Bossier Parish
Reserve Champion – Caroline Dupree, Bossier Parish

Market Lamb LA Bred
LA Bred Champion – Jacob Reyenga, St. Martin Parish
LA Bred Reserve Champion – John Adam FontenotBossier Parish

Lamb Showmanship                                      
Grand Champion – Tanner Browning, Sabine Parish
Reserve Champion – Brenden Ford, Sabine Parish

Market Goat                                         
Grand Champion – George Chambers, Bossier Parish
Reserve Champion – Katlyn Mathews, Bienville Parish

Market Goat LA Bred                                     
LA Bred Champion – Katlyn Mathews, Bienville Parish
LA Bred Reserve Champion – Luke Padgett, Claiborne Parish

Goat Showmanship                                     
Grand Champion – Madison Green, Winn Parish
Reserve Champion – Katlyn Mathews, Bienville Parish

Market Hog                                          
Grand Champion – Brady Hayes, Jefferson Davis Parish
Reserve Champion – Jada St. Pierre, St. James Parish

Hog Showmanship                                        
Grand Champion – Palynn Fontenot, Cameron Parish
Reserve Champion – Jada St. Pierre, St. James Parish

Grand Champion – Jamie Kile, Rapides Parish
Reserve Champion – Taylor Martin, Rapides Parish

Broiler  Premier Exhibitor                           
Grand Champion – Addisyn Robinson, St. Landry Parish
Reserve Champion – Cedrick DeRouen, East Baton Rouge Parish

By LaKeeshia Giddens Lusk
Contributing Writer

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