By Matt Reese
Many livestock shows have been canceled in 2020, including junior shows at the Ohio State Fair. In an effort to provide some opportunities for youth exhibitors to show their livestock in 2020, a group of volunteers teamed up to form the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo (OYLE).
“The Ohio Youth Livestock Expo was created to provide the show opportunity for Ohio’s junior livestock exhibitors during the timeframe when their intended show may have been canceled,” said Tracy Dendinger, livestock judge, breeder, agricultural educator, and OYLE volunteer. “It is not only the Ohio State Fair. There are other difficult decisions being made within our 88 counties in Ohio where shows may have canceled.”
With this in mind, OYLE is planning multiple shows later this summer.
“The OYLE is a lineup of junior market and breeding shows for beef cattle, sheep, Boer goats, and pigs,” Dendinger said. “We are looking for 4-H and FFA members who would be eligible for junior fair exhibition. The shows are going to take place over a 4-week period with no overlap between the species. The beef cattle, sheep and Boer goat shows will occur in different stages from July 25 to Aug. 5 at the Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville. The swine shows will take place in four different sessions from Aug. 9 to Aug. 19 at the Pickaway Agriculture and Event Center in Circleville.”
While the exhibitors will get to show their animals, the events will look different than in the past.
“Showing livestock in 2020 does look different than just a year ago,” Dendinger said. “With the guidelines from the CDC and our local health departments, how we proceed and function in these shows does look different from the standpoint of implementing social distancing, hand sanitizing, the way we move through check-in lines, the way we move through the makeup ring, and how we break class sizes down. The shows definitely will reflect those guidelines to ensure the health and safety of these exhibitors.”
OYLE volunteers are tackling the significant logistical and regulatory issues to fulfill the mission of the group and put on shows for Ohio’s junior livestock exhibitors.
“First and foremost our mission is to foster the development of Ohio’s youth livestock expositions in our state. That includes multiple segments of our industry such as feed, supplies, hay, straw, bedding, veterinarian services, trucking services, breeders, and 4-H and FFA advisors that continue to help guide, shape and drive the passion of livestock in our youth in Ohio. It is a long chain that is connected through exhibition,” Dendinger said. “The people in those industries look forward to having the opportunity to be an economic growth tool for our youth as they put those inputs into their livestock to learn and grow and take those skills into their adult life. This is an industry where one depends on the other to move the ball forward.”
For more details follow OYLE on Facebook and ocj.com. To donate, visit https://www.bwfinaldrive.com/auctions/2091-Ohio-Youth-Livestock-Expo-Donation-Fund-Raiser.