The numbers behind the Kansas Junior Livestock Show are staggering.

The 87th annual event, set for Sept. 27-29 at the the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, will host 772 youth from 97 counties. Exhibitors have entered 1,906 head of livestock, which includes 134 market steers, 333 breeding heifers, 230 market hogs, 271 breeding gilts, 275 market lambs, 288 breeding ewes, 197 market goats and 178 commercial doe kids.

For the sixth year, Douglas County leads the state with the most exhibitors, 37, and the largest number of total livestock entries, 77. Youth from Douglas County also have entered the most market lambs, 17. The breeding gilts category is led by Dickinson County with 15. Finney County has the most market hog entries at 13, and is tied with Butler County on market steer entries with six each. The largest number of heifers, 18, was entered by Pottawatomie County. Miami County competitors have entered the most market goats, 11. The largest number of breeding ewes was entered by Leavenworth County, 15. Elk County has the most commercial doe kid entries at 10.

The Kansas Junior Livestock Show will award cash to exhibitors of the top five animals in both market and breeding shows in all four species. Direct cash payouts will range from $4,000 to $500 for steers; $1,000 to $300 for heifers; $2,000 to $500 for market hogs; $750 to $250 for breeding gilts; $2,000 to $300 for market lambs; $500 to $50 for registered ewes; $500 to $100 for commercial ewes; $2,000 to $400 for market goats; and $750 to $200 for commercial doe kids.

In addition, several scholarships will be presented during the show to exhibitors who have excelled academically, in community service and in 4-H or FFA. This is the 27th year for the scholarship program, which has awarded a total of $450,900 to 323 exhibitors since 1993. Last year, a total of $19,900 was awarded to 10 individuals.

Separate from the selection of species champions, a showmanship contest will be held. The top showman in the junior, intermediate and senior divisions of each species will receive a silver belt buckle. Prizes also will be awarded for second through fifth place in each division.

KJLS will again offer the LEAD Challenge, which is an educational and advocacy event that provides an opportunity for exhibitors to learn about current industry issues and apply that information in a competitive environment. Exhibitors will be divided into three age divisions: junior, intermediate and senior. All will participate in the LEAD Listen & Learn, showmanship, skills stations and an interview. There are 35 juniors, 63 intermediates and 44 seniors entered in this year’s challenge.

The Kansas Livestock Foundation will sponsor a club calf show and sale. Steer and heifer prospects from some of the top club calf producers in the Midwest will be consigned. The event will take place Sept. 28. Sale commission proceeds will go toward the foundation’s Youth in Agriculture scholarships.

The Mid-America Classic Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest will be held Sept. 27. This event, which has been held for more than 30 years, provides competitors the opportunity to sharpen their livestock evaluation skills; develop their critical thinking and decision-making abilities, and refine their public speaking skills.

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