Several hundred 4-H and FFA students are expected to converge on the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center today to compete in the Central District Livestock Show.

Several hundred 4-H and FFA students are expected to converge on the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center today to compete in the Central District Livestock Show.

The show, which made a return to Shawnee and the Expo Center a year ago, begins at three-day run today, with competitors participating through Saturday.

The show kicks off today at noon with the market lamb competition. The doe show is at 1 p.m. followed by the wether show.

Jeremy Frye, one of the coordinators for the show, said entries are up by about 400 to 500 from a year ago. The show is open to any 4-H and FFA member 9-18 years of age within the Central District of the Oklahoma FFA Association, he said.

The show had been held at the Expo Center for a number of years, then left for several years before returning last January.

Frye explained the counties making up the Central District include: Payne, Lincoln, Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, Cleveland, McLain, Garvin, Murray, Stephens, Jefferson, Carter and Love. Within thosec ounties are 66 Agriculture Education programs and FFA chapters with approximately 5,500 FFA members and 3,900 4-H members.

As the sole district show for 4-H and FFA members within the Central District, hundreds of young people, their families, 4-H leaders and Agricultural Education instructors will be in Shawnee for the three-day event to exhibit lambs, goats, hogs and cattle, he said.

As of Wednesday, there were 616 swine entries he stated.

Frye added “Over the past three years we have witnessed a tremendous increase in the quality of the livestock being presented and more importantly an increase in youth participation from across the district. Last year we had over 1,400 head of livestock exhibited.

“To date we have 1,644 head pre-entered for the show that begins today. We expect additional entries. We will have well over 700 4-H and FFA members exhibiting livestock throughout the weekend. These students along with their families will visit Shawnee making a positive impact on the local economy,” he continued.

The Central District Livestock Show sole purpose is to reward 4-H and FFA members in the Central District for their hard work and celebrate their success. Central District 4-H and FFA members are second to none. It is with this assurance that we believe that it is time to not only recognize, but reward the achievements of these fine young people.

The sponsors of the 2014 Central District Livestock Show include: The Shawnee Convention and Visitor’ Bureau, S&S Farm Center, Shawnee; Lincoln County Farm Center, Chandler; Shawnee Milling Co. and Shawnee Feed Center, Moormans Show Tec, ADM Moorman’s Alliance, Freedom Ford, McAlester; Patriot Ford, Purcell,; The Trailer Ranch of Oklahoma, Carney; Bonham Show Cattle, Newcastle; Outback Laboratories, Lexington; the Oklahoma Boer Goat Association, VitaFerm, St. Joseph, Mo,; Martindale Feed Mill, Valley View, Texas.

The judges responsible for evaluating the livestock and working with theyoungsters are as follows:

Market Lambs and Barrows: Glen Blount, Denison, Texas

Wether Goats and Does: Jess Yeaman, Rock Springs, Texas

Market Hogs: Jason Lackey, Aspermont, Texas

Heifers, Prospect Steers and Market Steers: Justin Moritz, Chatsworth, Ill.