Battle for the Best – County youth competing Saturday for top prizes at Livestock Show

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, January 4, 2023

By Meredith McCurdy Rhodes

​Youth from around Panola County will battle to be the best of the best at the 2023 Panola County Livestock Show set for  Saturday, Jan. 7, at the Batesville Civic Center  The show will begin at 10 a.m. inside the Civic Center.

The Panola County Livestock show is a historical event occurring annually each January.  It is a celebration of 4H and FFA youth, ages 8-18, who have worked many hours to prepare their animals in a humane, healthy, and respectable manner.

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These youth have a passion for the agriculture industry and enjoy sharing their story with all they meet.

Livestock shows are a great way to fellowship, which often leads to turning friends into family. Mackie Dettor, a grandparent of Kason Dettor, has been involved in the livestock industry for more than 34 years. When asked about the best part of showing livestock, she said, “For us the family atmosphere and friendships we have gained.”

Competing in livestock shows helps youth develop pride in their work, teamwork, sportsmanship, leadership, and a passion for success. Archer Vick, Panola County 4-Her, said his favorite part of showing livestock is “Improving each year.”

Despite the ever-changing world, the livestock industry tends to stand true to its history of preparing youth to be an asset to our society.  Showing livestock teaches “responsibility and work ethic,” said Dettor.

“Livestock projects help our youngest livestock producers learn better management skills, showmanship skills, self-discipline, independence, social skills, compassion, food safety, and so much more,” according to Ginger Cook, MSU Extension Agent.

When youth were asked what the hardest part of preparing for a livestock show Mollie Vick said, “The hardest part of showing is probably the amount of time and dedication the livestock animals take.”

Youth that participate in livestock shows can travel across the United States exhibiting their animals in the hopes of being chosen as a Champion.  Money, banners, belt buckles, and scholarships are just a few of the awards that can be won.

The Panola County Livestock Association (PCLA) works hard each year to secure donations to provide its youth with quality awards as well as money to assist in the ever-increasing cost of raising livestock.   Donations can be made to the PCLA at the Panola County Extension Office.

The Livestock Association encourages all of Panola County to attend the event and watch local youth compete in the show ring to be named the best of the best. There is no admission charge. Families of all sizes and ages will enjoy the opportunity to see the livestock and watch the youngsters work for the top ribbons and trophies.

For more information regarding agriculture and youth programs, contact Ginger Cook at the MSU Extension- Panola County at (662) 563-6260.

Photo: Archer Vick and Mollie Vick, yearly competitors in the Panola County Livestock Show, had big wins at the 2022 Mississippi Junior Swine Circuit in Jackson. They are the children of Josh and Emily Vick. Local winners will advance to other shows in the 2023 season.