For the 72nd consecutive year, the Farmers’ Museum hosted young farmers and livestock enthusiasts from across central New York at the Iroquois Farm Showgrounds in Cooperstown for the Junior Livestock Show.
More than 250 exhibitors, ages 8 to 18, representing nine counties, including Chenango, Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie, showed approximately 650 animals throughout the weekend, according to organizers.
Paul D’Ambrosio, president of the Farmers’ Museum, commended the exhibitors for demonstrating “an uncompromising dedication towards the care of their animals.”
An agricultural tradition since 1948, the show is the second-largest of its kind in the state, according to D’Ambrosio. The event is sponsored by the Farmers’ Museum in cooperation with Cornell Cooperative Extension County 4-H educators and clubs throughout central New York.
Livestock in each category — swine, beef cattle, sheep, dairy goats and dairy cattle — were awarded champion of breed, best bred and owned and supreme animal.
Judges also named a champion market hog, beef steer, beef heifer, ram and ewe; best junior doe and best udder for each breed of dairy goat, and awarded prizes for market lamb and best fleece.
The judging culminated in a parade of champions, officiated by D’Ambrosio, under one of the dozen big-top tents clustered on the property.
Sponsors of some of the awards, including state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, presented plaques to the winners, who led their champion animals around a sawdust ring for the audience to view.
Skunk, a spotted swine exhibited by Timothy James of Delaware County, was awarded the F. Ambrose Clark Livestock Trophy, which D’Ambrosio said was established in 1963 and awarded to the head of beef cattle, swine or sheep judged to be the best of the livestock show.
Skunk was also named champion market hog and supreme swine, and Perdita, another spotted swine exhibited by James, was named champion of the breed.
The Farmers’ Museum Dairy Goat Cup, awarded to the best of show, was presented to Wyatt Austin of Chenango County for Kritter Kountry, which was also named best udder for a dairy goat.
Two of Austin’s other dairy goats, Karla and Kendal, were named junior champion and reserve junior champion of the Alpine breed, respectively, and The Trail Farm Sunburst was awarded best dairy goat bred and owned.
Jericho-Dally Baracuda, a Holstein exhibited by Lance McClure of Delaware County and grand champion of the breed, was judged to be the dairy animal best of show and awarded The Farmers’ Museum Cup.
Paige and Cole Warren, a brother-and-sister duo representing Chenango County, took home half a dozen awards for their dairy goats, sweeping the Saanen breed category and nabbing titles in the Nubian and Toggenburg categories.
“It’s a really great experience — it creates a network for us, and there’s so many job opportunities,” said Paige, who was named Reserve Grand Champion Dairy Goat Showman and also serves as Chenango County Dairy Princess.
She said her family has shown livestock since she and her brother, now 16 and 13, were toddlers.
“You just grow with it,” she said. “You learn so much along the way.”
Sarah Eames, staff writer, can be reached at email@example.com or 607-441-7213. Follow her @DS_SarahE on Twitter.