MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — For more than 10 years, the Panhandle Youth Expo in Jackson County has brought together students from all over the Panhandle and sometimes, south Alabama and Georgia to show off their cattle raising skills.
Kids as young as 8-years-old can compete in events like livestock judging or showmanship.
The expo is an opportunity for kids to show off their hard work when it comes to cattle raising.
“Oh it’s seven days a week,” Panhandle Youth Expo competitor, Bud Basford said. “I mean you’re feeding them every morning and every night out there working with them.”
Basford is a 16-year-old student at Marianna High School and said sometimes it’s stressful balancing cattle raising and school work, but he doesn’t let it stop him from doing what he loves.
“It’s like some people cheerlead and play football, some people raise cattle,” Basford said.
Because of COVID-19, the expo almost didn’t happen but expo organizer, Phyllis Daniels said it was critical they has the event this year.
“It’s just a great opportunity for families to come together, good, I would say clean family fun but in a barn, it’s really not that clean,” Daniels said. “But it is great family fun and it cannot be matched.”
Morgan Raper, the vice president of Future Farmers of America, said not only do kids learn about raising cattle, they learn other important like lessons from this sport. ‘
“You have to stick with it if you wanna be good at it and it gets really hot out here and you get tired and also you just learn leadership,” Raper said. “You know you see how other people lead the kids and it teaches you to want to be that way.”
The winners from the livestock judging event are as follows:
High School FFA 1st place team – Marianna High School
- Trevon Williams
- Daniel Stoutamire
- Sara Castleberry
- Amber Wilkinson
Middle School FFA 1st place team – Marianna K8
- Taylor Arunakul
- Meghan Beebe
- Clifton Cooper
- Brandon Spooner
4H Intermediate 1st place team – Jackson County 4H
- Sam Basford
- Adley Carraway
- Valorie Yoder
- Mikayla Law
4H Senior 1st place team – Jackson County 4H
- Bud Basford
- Syler Griffen
- Benjamin Roach
The expo will continue on Saturday with another day full of competition.