By RACHAL PINKERTON
SPOKANE — COVID-19 has affected everything. For students raising animals for junior livestock shows, having shows canceled has meant a loss of opportunity to show off their hard work and a loss of money when selling their animals at market.
Back in March, when the Junior Livestock Show in Moses Lake was canceled, the Junior Livestock Show of Spokane extended its entry deadline to allow Moses Lake folks to enter. But with the closing of the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center due to COVID-19, the Junior Livestock Show of Spokane was faced with a difficult decision: cancel or find an alternative way to allow the show to continue.
It was decided that a virtual livestock show was the way to go.
“We wanted to give the kids something,” said Lynn Cotter, Junior Livestock Show manager. “We wanted to give them an outlet to compete.”
Students who had entered into this year’s show can video themselves showing their animals and submit the video on May 5 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Information and sample videos are on the Junior Livestock Show’s website, juniorshow.org.
The judges who were scheduled to come from the Midwest and Texas for the four-day event have agreed to judge the online event.
“It is still a contest,” Cotter said. “We’ve asked judges to still place them. They will get premium dollars.”
While the show will go on, the market portion will not.
“We’ve suggested that everyone pre-sell,” Cotter said. “We do anyhow. It is the best way to get the best price.”
Cotter said that in the Spokane area, there aren’t as many buyers as there are in agriculturally based areas. So organizers encourage their participants to pre-sell, as it will allow those students to get the most for the animals.
While some students have sold their animals already, some have not. Cotter is collecting the names of students who haven’t. She has had some people interested in helping out those students. Anyone looking to help support a student and put meat in their freezer should contact Cotter via email at Jrshow75@gmail.com or by phone at 509-535-6737. Local FFA and 4-H clubs can also connect buyers with students looking to sell.
Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.