What to expect from this year’s Smith County Junior Livestock Show

What to expect from this year’s Smith County Junior Livestock Show
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 11:41 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2023 at 10:23 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Smith County Junior Livestock Show is being held at the Cross Brand Cowboy Church arena at 11915 FM 2015 in Smith County through Friday. And, win or lose, it’s a lot of work to get to the point of showing livestock.

Bullard Intermediate fifth grader Jacey Hill says this is her second time around at the livestock show, but it runs in the family.

“My aunt Gillian Hill, she did pigs, and my dad did pigs, too, Justin hill. And then my mom did heifers and horses,” Jacey said.

But why does she do this?

“I do it to raise money for my college and just for fun,” Jacey said.

Smith County Junior Livestock Show Board Member Mintie Betts says it may be fun, but it also teaches dedication and responsibility.

“Showing livestock is a family affair. You know, I used to show and then went to collage and came back. So, I just love seeing all these kids and the family, and all the work that they put into it. Because it’s just a two day show and a sale. This is a several month project,” Mintie said.

Mintie is still involved although she remembers what happens.

“They get up at 5 o’clock, 6 o’clock in the morning. And then, you know, they go to school and they’re out in the barns 9 or ten o’clock at night. Not just to feed them but to care for them, to train them to get them ready for competition,” Mintie said.

And apparently Jacey had put in the time because she ended up high on the hog. She got:

“Reserve Champion Overall Swine,” Mintie said

That’s second place overall, but also:

“Grand Junior Showmanship,” Mintie said.

“You know what’s going to happen to that hog, right?” I asked Jacey.

“Yes,” she replied.

“Are you upset about that?” I asked.

“Very,” she said.

“Sometimes it’s hard if the kid, it’s their first show. But the nice thing is, is that they sometimes know they’re getting another one,” Mintie said.

Then it was picture time, but you know what still photographers say about kids and animals. I think this time out it was the animal that was the problem.

The event goes on until Friday culminating in a livestock auction at 11 a.m. It’s free to the public and the money benefits the students and the agriculture program.