Bullard FFA members are busy working to prepare their animal and shop projects, as the organization will compete at the upcoming annual Smith County Youth Expo, to be held Wednesday through Friday, Feb. 28 – March 2, at Bullard High School.
“The Smith County Youth Expo falls in the middle of our livestock show season, but more importantly, it allows the bulk of our students to participate with their SAE projects,” said Monty Main, Bullard FFA advisor. “We have a unique opportunity to place in this event and do well in the Sale of Champions, in which students are rewarded for their hard work they’ve put into the project.”
After competing at Lindale High School for the past two years, the Smith County Youth Expo will make its way back down south to Bullard. The event was moved two Lindale in 2016 due to construction around the BHS agricultural barn in the Bullard ISD 2015 bond package construction.
“We’ve had to compete at Lindale for the past two years because we had a lot of construction going on over the past two years,” said Main. “We didn’t move the event back to Bullard last year because we were busy working out the kinks, but it’s coming back home to Bullard this year where it all started. Having the expo at our place is a blessing because out students don’t have to travel and it makes it easier for us to carry our animals and projects to compete.”
Members of the community are invited to come and see some of the Youth Expo’s students and their projects. Students will be competing at the Smith County Youth Expo by showing market steers, barrows, broilers, roasters, rabbits, goats, lambs, and heifers. Students will also show off many of their handmade shop projects made throughout the school year.
Students representing Bullard, Lindale, Winona, Troup, Whitehouse, Arp, Tyler Robert E. Lee, and other Smith County schools will compete at the Smith County Youth Expo throughout the three-day event.
According to Main, there will be over 100 entries from Bullard FFA members competing in the various shows at this year’s Smith County Youth Expo.
“We have a lot of students showing at all different grade levels and levels of show experience,” said Main. “Also, since we are hosting, we have other responsibilities that will hopefully make this event successful this year.”
The event kicks off with a rabbit weigh-in and a broilers and roasters check-in at 1 p.m. Wednesday. Roasters will begin being shown by students at 2 p.m., with broilers and rabbits being shown immediately following.
FFA students competing for Smith County Youth Expo scholarships will have interviews beginning at 4 p.m., followed by weigh-ins for goats, lambs, barrows, and steers at 5 p.m.
The second day of the Smith County Youth Expo will begin Thursday with market barrow judging at 8 a.m., with market lamb and market goat judging following immediately afterwards.
Heifers are also required to check-in between 8 and 9 a.m. Student shop project judging will begin at 10 a.m. The second day will wrap up with the steer show at 1p.m., immediately followed by the heifer show.
The last day of the event will begin 8 a.m. Friday with a livestock clinic, followed by livestock judging, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
“On the last day of the expo, we bring in a major university’s livestock judging team to help put on a clinic for all Smith County kids that want to participate. We’re expecting it to be the team from Blinn College this year, who has won Nationals in the junior college division several times. They’re very good at teaching younger students how to judge livestock correctly.”
The final event of the Smith County Youth Expo will be the Sale of Champions, including the Grand and Reserve Champions of each species, beginning at 2 p.m. Friday.
The generosity of businesses and individuals provides funds for students to purchase animals and materials for shop projects for the next school year. Their generosity also helps provides necessary college funds for senior students.
“We’re blessed with the tremendous support that follows the Bullard FFA program,” said Main. “We’ve got a great group of community members, businesses, and supporters from both past and present come and support our students at this event. We tell our kids we want to do our best at every event. It’s true that success will breed success; the students put in a lot of hard work to make the magic happen.”
For questions about the upcoming 2018 Smith County Youth Expo or if you are unable to attend but would like to make a contribution or purchase a project, contact Main at (903) 894-3272 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.