Choctaw Livestock Show an opportunity for Ag Youth

Photo by the Choctaw Nation Winning caps off a lot of effort and time for students in the Choctaw Nation Livestock Show, such as this Grand Champion from last year.

Choctaw Nation release

DURANT — In answer to “Where’s the Beef?”— in southeastern Oklahoma, it’s headed to the 2018 Choctaw Nation Livestock Show, along with sheep, goats and swine. Also, on hand will be hundreds of teens, their family members, school Ag teachers and Oklahoma State University Extension educators.

The annual livestock show for members of 4-H and FFA will take place Feb. 3-4 again at two locations, Wilburton and Durant. It is a major event for the young people to show their swine, goats, sheep, heifers and steers.

While the students must be in third through 12th grades, be no older than 19 and have a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB), there are no boundary guidelines again this year. Participants are not required to reside or attend school within the 10 and a half counties of the Choctaw Nation, making an impressive turnout.

Jody House, manager of the Choctaw Nation Agricultural Outreach program, said, “There were 955 animals in both shows last year.”

Advanced registration deadline has passed, but entries are still being accepted. Applications along with a complete list of guidelines, breed categories and show times can be found at https://www.choctawnation.com/2018-annual-choctaw-nation-livestock-show. For additional information, call Ag Outreach at 580-924-8280 Ext. 2986.

The livestock show, long sponsored by Jones Academy, is getting a boost from assistance by the Choctaw Nation Agricultural Outreach program.

As Lindsey Young of the Choctaw Nation Finance Department explained, “When the show first began it fell under Jones Academy because that was the tribe’s only Ag program at the time. But now we’ve grown and diversified.” Young, who has handled the fees and other financials of the event for more than a decade, will continue that duty.

“We didn’t make too many changes,” said House. As always, he said, “The show will be held the first weekend in February, same weekend since it started.”

Larriann Chambers, 24, of Tushka, is a good example for not changing up a successful formula too much. Chambers entered sheep, goats and pigs in the Choctaw Livestock Shows in Durant from the 7th grade through her senior year. Now she works for Choctaw Nation Ag Outreach and will be helping run the show for a second year.

“I always entered the Choctaw Show,” Chambers said about her years at Tushka High School and earlier. “I had two younger sisters, they entered it too. It was one that we looked forward to every year.  It was one of our favorite shows.”

It remains important to her on this side as well. “It’s special to still be a part of it because I can contribute to the youth and their future now.”

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