By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
The 2022 Clark County Junior Livestock Association (CCJLA) show, held last week at the Clark County Fair, went down in the books as one of the best ever, even with a number admissions lower than expected.
Although the number of entries was close to normal at the weigh-in in December and January, fewer children than usual returned to show off their animals at the fair. This was mainly due to soaring livestock feed costs.
But the benefit of fewer animals meant it was an auction sellers market. Selling prices were very high this year across the board, which really benefited all the children involved.
A total of 141 animals were auctioned on Saturday, for a total of $405,462. That was up from last year’s record.
Nateya Rider’s Grand Champion steer weighed 1400 lbs and sold for $8.50/lb. Andii Shakespear’s Grand Champion lamb weighed 126 pounds and sold for $14.50/lb. Nateya Rider’s Grand Champion Goat weighed 100 lbs and sold for $60/lb. Fallon Yardley’s Grand Champion pig weighed 266 pounds and sold for $16/lb.
Last year’s judge Ryan Rash made a return appearance for this year’s show. Rash is flamboyant and quick in his decision making. But the children appreciated how he took the time to speak to each of them with positive and encouraging comments.
“I love coming here and I really hope they invite me again,” Rash said of the CCJLA event. “It’s a big show with big kids and big cattle.”
Although bringing the best pet to market was the crowning achievement, there were so many different ways for kids to shine. Each exhibitor was able to participate in a staging competition where his ability to work with his animal was judged.
This year’s top showman awards went to Brock Eastman, senior division; Fallon Yardley, middle division; and Aurélie Stratton, junior division.
The barn was also full of fun contests all week. On Wednesday, FFA members from across the state of Nevada traveled to Clark County to participate in the FFA State Cattle Judging event. Local showmen were also able to participate in the competition and the winner of each category received a beautiful belt buckle.
This year also saw the return of the wild, wacky and always entertaining sheep fitting contest where children in teams of 2 must take an untamed sheep, wash it, then shear it to make it as pretty as possible in an hour.
In addition, the Breeding Knowledge Contest returned for a second year. There was a gain rate contest to see which animals gained the most weight. Each exhibitor was required to submit a log detailing their animal care records. Placing and participating in every event including market and staging carried a points bonus with it and at the end of the show the points were totaled and three all-around champions were crowned. This year’s winners were Iain McMurray, senior; Fallon Yardley, Intermediate; and Aurélie Stratton, junior.
The show is a great place for kids to make friends from all over. Fun events were interspersed with competitions. The kids were able to play kickball, have dinner, participate in an all ages dance, and other great bonding activities throughout the week.
“This year was really great!” said CCJLA Secretary Missy Hardy. “We were initially disappointed with the low number of animals, but it turned out to be a fantastic and really great show for the kids.”
Hardy particularly praised the sponsors and supporters of the breeding show for making the children’s efforts worthwhile. “We really think it’s one of the best ways to raise great kids,” she said.
CCJLA President Corey Houston agreed. “I love being here, watching these kids interact with each other and make lifelong friends while working hard and learning lessons that will serve them for a lifetime,” he said. “It is so gratifying to see their growth year after year. All the work and all the hours of planning are worth it and I’m really looking forward to next year.