For Shawnee’s Jaimee Herskind, this week’s Pottawatomie County Junior Livestock Show will be her first.

For Shawnee’s Jaimee Herskind, this week’s Pottawatomie County Junior Livestock Show will be her first.
Even though she has been in FFA three years, she’s never competed in the annual county livestock show. She will show her Shorthorn heifer and also will exhibit her Duroc pig.
A junior, and a member of the Shawnee FFA chapter, Herskind was honored last Monday night as one of the eight top county FFA students with the Gordon Richards Award. She’s looking forward to the show, and says spending time with her animals and friends this week is what she thinks she will enjoy most.
Herskind said she spends about three to four hours a day tending to her animals. In addition to the heifer and Duroc, she also has three horses.
This is the 74th year for the show which features competition in goats, sheep, cattle and swine. Several hundred 4-H and FFA students from across the county will participate.
The show begins a four-day run Tuesday at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center, concluding Friday night with the annual premium sale. One of the aspirations for each of the several hundred FFA and 4-H students competing this week is to make the sale.
The show is sponsored by the Greater Shawnee Area Chamber of Commerce and the Agri-Business Youth Development Committee coordinates the show.
Randy Gilbert is chairman of the show again this year, and Suzanne Gilbert, his wife, and Linda Goodson are co-chairs.
Friday’s premium auction is what all of the participants are striving to achieve and the sale begins at 7 p.m. It will be preceded by a Business After Hours and Appreciation reception for buyers and honorees starting at 5:30 p.m.
Suzanne Gilbert said that awards and presentation of scholarships, which also will precede the auction, begin at 6:30 p.m. that evening.
She estimates more than 500 animals will be exhibited during the three days of judging. The breakdown, she said, is around 100 beef animals, 280 swine, 80 goats and 70 sheep. “We’ll have more goats than sheep this year,” she added.
She said that 110 animals qualify for the premium sale, with the breakdown being 48 swine, 26 beef, 18 sheep and 18 goats. The students are allowed to keep their animals, which are sold during the sale, and that is why it is called a premium auction.
Gilbert said each participant can qualify for the sale with only one animal. If a student has shown more than one animal during the competition, then the highest placed animal is the one that qualifies for Friday night’s auction.
Unlike Herskind, this will be the sixth and final time for Lindsay Reid, Bethel High School senior to compete. She said she has two sheep entries, a Natural wether and a Hampshire Ewe. She will show three swine, too, all gilts, including a Crossbreed, a Duroc and a York.
“I like the competition and the opportunity to exhibit my animals,” Reid explained. “And I get to hang out with all the people.”
She said the show allows the participants to show off their hard work. “Winning and making the premium sale, shows accomplishment,” she added.
Reid noted she has made the premium sale each year, and last year had the third lamb in the sale. Reid said whatever she earns at a premium sale she reinvests and also puts its toward college.
Also a recipient of the Gordon Richards FFA Awards this past week, she has signed a letter of intent to judge livestock at NEO Junior College where she will be majoring in Agricultural Education.
For McLoud’s Brandon Vicknair, an 18-year-old senior, this week marks the fourth and final time for him to compete in the county Junior Livestock Show. And he will be busy, showing animals two of the three days of judging.
Vicknair has three swine, two goats and two sheep entered in the competition. On Tuesday, he will show two doe goats, along with a Hampshire wether lamb and a Hamp ewe lamb. Thursday, he will exhibit a Chester gilt, a Crossbreed gilt and a Hampshire barrow in the swine judging.
Vicknair, who after graduation in May plans on attending Oklahoma State University in Stillwater to study veterinary medicine, said he made the premium sale his sophomore year with a Crossbreed gilt. Concerning the show, he said, “I just like having a good time with my friends, meeting new people and showing people all of my hard work from all year.”
Macomb’s Megan Hogan, a junior, said she has been participating in the county Junior Livestock Show since she was 9 and added “I’m 16 now.”
This year she has one swine entry, a Hampshire gilt.
Hogan points to “getting to meet new people and visiting with kids to go to different schools” as what she enjoys the most.
“It’s pretty tough competition,” she said, noting in all the years she’s competed she has qualified for the premium sale only twice.
But she mentions “knowing that I’ve accomplished getting to show and having my family there to help me” makes it all worthwhile for her.