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Utah State Junior Livestock Show celebrates 100 years, raises $80K for scholarships

By Carlene Coombs - | Apr 2, 2024
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The Utah State Junior Livestock Show celebrated its 100th anniversary by hosting a legacy banquet on March 25, 2024.
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A display at a legacy banquet celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Utah State Junior Livestock Show on March 25, 2024.
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A display at a legacy banquet celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Utah State Junior Livestock Show on March 25, 2024.

The Utah State Junior Livestock Show is celebrating its 100-year anniversary since it first began in 1924 in Spanish Fork and has raised nearly $80,000 for a new scholarship fund.

To celebrate the milestone, the show’s committee hosted a legacy dinner March 25, commemorating the generations who contributed to decades of junior livestock shows and raising money for a new scholarship fund for graduating high school seniors who enter the livestock show.

Beau Hunter, USJLS committee member and Timpagonos 4-H Livestock Club leader, said they raised nearly $65,000 for the scholarship fund at the legacy bouquet. With donations that came in after the bouquet, the fund has reached about $80,000.

High school seniors who enter into the livestock show, which this year will be held April 30 to May 4, will be eligible to apply for a scholarship, Hunter said.

For the most part, scholarship awards aren’t limited to only being used for higher education agriculture programs. Hunter said the scholarships also could be put toward vocational training or non-agriculture-related college programs.

“We wanted to keep it really open and just see how these young women and young men plan to invest in their futures,” Hunter said.

The committee also received $2,000 from Snow College for two scholarships — $1,000 for a vocational training scholarship and $1,000 to go toward an agriculture program. Hunter said he hopes they’ll be able to create a “long-standing relationship” with Snow College and they’ve begun to reach out to other colleges in the state.

Hunter said the committee’s initial goal for the scholarship fund was to be able to award 10 $1,000 scholarships this year, but due to the influx of donations, they likely can award more scholarships. In future years, he said, they aim to issue 10 scholarships each year.

Graduating high school seniors who have entered into the USJLS have until April 20 to apply for a scholarship and can find application information at utahjuniorlivestock.com/scholarships. Monday is the final day to enter into the USJLS.

“We’re looking for great youth that have a plan for their future,” Hunter said.

In addition to the scholarships, the livestock show will host a service project this year where they’ll be collecting food items to donate to Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry.

Partnering in the initiative is the Utah Farm Bureau, which will match the food donations. With each pound of food donated, the bureau will contribute 1 pound of hamburger meat. The goal, Hunter said, is to gather 1,800 pounds of food.

Hunter said that trying to get youth who are showing livestock also involved in service will create a “more well-rounded dynamic” in the experience.

To Hunter, who showed livestock in high school and now has children who show, the junior livestock show is about teaching youth about hard work.

“It’s just to teach them the value of work. Because the show is just one piece of it,” he said. “You spent months and months and months working with an animal and getting them ready. And there’s a lot of peripheral things that they learn. But I think, at the core, it’s just about teaching them how to work.”

As Utah County grows and becomes more “urbanized,” Hunter said it’s especially important to continue educating youth and the community about agriculture and how to raise livestock.

“It’s amazing to me how many people reach out to me because they want their children to be associated with agriculture,” he said. “They want them to learn how to work and how to raise an animal and how to produce something for meat.”

Hunter estimates that this year’s show will have about 450 participants, with nearly 750 animals being shown, a “slight bump” from last year.

At the Utah State Junior Livestock Show, youth can show sheep, cattle, pigs or goats, with different categories like market beef or breeding sheep.

Youth participants who show animals are part of local 4-H or FFA chapters and spend months raising and working with their animals to get them ready for the show.

Hunter encouraged community members to attend the livestock show and the opening ceremony and be part of the 100th-year anniversary.

The livestock show will be held at the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds with the opening ceremony at 8 p.m April 30. The market sale will finish off the show on May 4, starting at 10 a.m.


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