SPOKANE — The Junior Livestock Show of Spokane provides its youthful participants with an opportunity to see the fruits of their labors.
“They’ve raised this animal anywhere between eights months to a year,” said show manager Lynn Cotter, adding on the final day of the show they get to find out if they made money or got the blue ribbon they worked for.
Cotter said she also hopes participants learned something along the way.
Marshall Bye, a third-grader from Pomeroy, Wash., said he hoped to get at least $1,000 for his steer, Tart.
“Showing my guys,” he said when asked his favorite part of the livestock show. “Showing my steers.”
Ava Budde, a high school freshman from Spangle, Wash., was back for her fifth year at the show.
She enjoys participating with her friends from school and showing steers.
She is prospecting her steer, showing now and selling it at a different show in September. She hopes to ultimately receive $2.00 to $2.10 per pound.
“That’s the lower end — I’d always hope for more, but I’d be satisfied with around there,” she said.
Budde’s favorite part of raising a steer is watching them grow during the course of a year.
Her least favorite part is halter breaking.
“But it’s fun to see that and then see how far they’ve come at the end,” she said.
Hog and goat numbers were up slightly, with the number of steers remaining about the same, Cotter said. About 700 animals were at the show, with 600 to 700 exhibitors.
Animal and feed costs have remained roughly the same in recent years.
Funding is the biggest need, Cotter said.
“Ultimately, we’d like to pay the kids more premium, but we pay what we can,” she said.
Cotter said the show costs roughly $150,000 to $170,000 to put on.
Cotter would welcome more corporate involvement and partnerships during the show sale on Saturday.
“I would love to give more scholarship dollars to pay these kids back that have been involved with junior show as they hit their senior year in high school,” she said.
The event is giving two $750 and three $500 scholarships, she said.
The show runs through May 4 in Spokane.