An annual event that many of the youth of McCulloch County look forward to is the McCulloch County Junior Livestock Show & Sale set to get underway beginning Thursday evening at the G. Rollie White Complex. The show began earlier this year with the rabbit show and will be running continuously Friday and Saturday as they run through the list of entries. Organizers are looking for another good year and hopefully another record broken as a total of 120 exhibitors will show their animals. This figure is up from last year’s number of 107 exhibitors. ‘We will have a record number of kids and expect a large crowd, both at the shows and the sale,’ said McCulloch County Extension Agent Jerry Kidd. ‘The number of animals that will hit the show ring will be up in just about every classification as well.’ There are several major changes in this year’s show which include grooming rules, premium sale buyers and other contributors, show sponsorships and add-on monies. The first rule to give importance to is grooming, in that all animals must show up for the sale clipped and groomed for the show ring. Each exhibitor will be responsible for grooming their animal. No custom professional fitters’only exhibitors, exhibitors’ parents/guardians/siblings, and advisors are allowed to clip/fit/groom animals after validation. Contestants are urged to check category rules before checking in. For many 4-H and FFA members, this will be the only show and sale in which they compete for the entire year. According to Kidd, this is one of the biggest events in the county. ‘Our show is going up in numbers, and our county is one of the few counties that has been increasing,’ he said. ‘This is due to outstanding leaders and board members as well as FFA and 4-H leaders. We also have the strong support of our businesses. This has been consistent for about the last 10 years. “It is like a snowball that is rolling down the hill and getting bigger and better. We get buyers that come from all over Texas, which is about 25 percent of the contributors. This consists of businesses, family members or youth-oriented people. “We had a total of 28 sponsors who paid over $1,000 last year alone. Of the 28, 13 of them gave more than $2,500. Ten years ago we didn’t have 10 that gave $1,000 in sponsorship money. ‘When you are supporting the youth of our livestock show, you are sponsoring exhibitors. You are sponsoring some of the ‘cream of the crop’ exhibitors or kids of our community,’ said Kidd. Kidd went on to explain that as of right now, our county has eight former 4-H participants who have exhibited or judged and that are going to college on a full scholarship. Three of the eight are on judging scholarships. Abby Probst is on the wool judging team at Texas Tech University; Jay Behrens is on the meat judging team at Texas A&M University; and Katie Kidd is on the livestock judging team at Blinn Junior College in Brenham. All three of them will be judging at the Denver National Western in Denver, Colo. next week representing their respective colleges. They will compete against all colleges and universities that have agricultural programs. They will be judging for a full week in Denver. During the judging season, according to her father, Kidd will miss about 20 days of her college courses, but like all students representing their schools at an event, will be allowed to make up all missed work. Another former McCulloch county exhibitor and judging contestant is Rygh Fullagar. He is a freshman at Tarleton State University where they are trying to recruit him for the meat judging team. ‘As long as we have these kids involved, whether it is sports or educational events, they will be a more well-rounded student and be more productive in life as an adult,’ said Kidd. All members of the community are encouraged to attend the show and participate in the sale. Various baked goods will be auctioned off throughout the show days to help raise the floor price for all competitors who take an animal to the show ring. The following rule changes will be quoted word-by-word according to the 2008 McCulloch County Junior Livestock Show & Sale Rules. Premium Sale and buyers and other contributors 1. PLATINUM (#1 top buyer) and TOP 10 BUYERS (next 10 top buyers)’Proceeds pledged at the Premium Sale by buyers through ‘winning sale bids’, and/or ‘show sponsorships’ pledged prior to the start of the Premium Sale will be used to determine the top buyers of the premium sale. All pledges must be paid in full within 60 days following the premium sale. Other funds generated from ‘add-on’ monies, bake sale, donated items, and/or fund raising projects (raffle, concession, suppers, etc.) will not be utilized in the determination of the top buyers at the sale. 2. SHOW SPONSORSHIPS’GOLD, SILVER, BRONZE, and SPONSORS. Proceeds received from pledged sponsorships, awards, premium sale winning bids, ‘add-on’ monies, bake sale, and/or board approved donated items will be included in the sponsor’s total contributions to determine the level of sponsorship earned by the individual, business, etc. Other fund raising projects (raffle, concession, suppers, etc.) will not be included without board approval. 3. ADD-ON MONIES given by individuals or business must be declared to the Association at the McCulloch County Extension Office within seven (7) working days following the show. The donor can designate the exhibitors to receive their ‘add on monies’. All ‘add on monies’ handled by the association will be subject to the same regulations as Premium Sale Rule 3. The Association reserves the right to withhold 5% of all collected monies to cover costs and expenses if deemed necessary.